According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans spend an annual $4.61 trillion on bills. It is a painful thought—no one likes paying bills—so no one stops to think about how their bill payment is processed.
An Effective Bill Pay Partnership
Many Americans may have interacted with services provided by Paymentus and needed to be made aware of it. Paymentus is a bill presentment and bill payment facilitator that partners with healthcare, utility, financial, and other providers who send bills to clients. For example, Americans may think they are paying a utility bill online directly to their electric company but may not realize that Paymentus is working on the backend of the electric company’s website via integrated billing to complete the transaction.
Paymentus traditionally focused on cloud-based bill payment technology and prioritized online bill pay. However, Paymentus just announced that it is expanding to accept cash payments. This is big news, particularly for those who prefer to avoid paying bills online.
Many online bill payment providers charge a fee for using a credit or debit card, which is capped at 4% of the total bill amount. This fee covers the card processing cost and is passed on to the cardholder as a surcharge. So, for example, a $2,000 rent payment can face a fee of up to $80 if paid by a card online. This additional fee can shy away some folks, but if a payment is due immediately, the ability to pay online by card serves as a saving grace.
Some folks need the option to pay their bills using a card. Business Wire says over 18.7 million American households are underbanked, and 5.8 million are unbanked. This could be due to needing to meet minimum balance requirements of checking and savings accounts, lacking trust in banks generally, or not wanting to pay banking fees. Without banking products, underbanked and unbanked Americans resort to money orders or prepaid cards to pay their bills.
Green Dot and Paymentus: An Effective Solution
Paymentus’ cash bill payment solution was made possible through a partnership with the Green Dot Network. Oftentimes referred to as a “branchless bank,” Green Dot enables customers to pay bills in person at 90,000 retail locations nationwide, which is more than all remaining bank branches in the US combined.
As the onset of a recession sweeps the nation, cash may become the primary way to pay bills. As the economic pressure continues, Americans will start to pinch pennies, and a 4% surcharge fee for card payments will become a major turn-off.
Overview by Sophia Gonzalez, Research Analyst, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group.