April 15, 2013

With experts predicting that mobile photo bill pay will be the next big thing in mobile banking, Lubbock, Texas-based City Bank Texas is getting in on the action. The bank ($2 billion in assets) announced today that it will be offering the Picture Pay mobile photo bill pay solution from Allied Payments Network, an online bill payment solutions provider. The announcement follows US Bank’s roll-out of Mitek’s mobile photo bill pay solution last month, which was the first launch of a mobile photo bill pay solution by a large bank in the U.S.

The new Picture Pay solution allows the customer to pay their bill with their smartphone’s camera, according to a statement released by Allied Payments Network. The user takes a picture of the bill and types in the amount to be paid and the date of the payment. The solution’s analytics verify the biller, and the bill is then paid. Customers can also expedite payments for a small fee to avoid more costly late fees, the statement said.

[See Related: U.S. Bank Rolls Out Mobile Photo Bill Pay]

Industry experts say mobile photo bill pay is quickly becoming one of the most desired features among mobile customers. “In mobile banking, customers love the shiny new toy. That used to be mobile remote deposit capture. When we think about what’s around the corner, we see mobile photo bill pay as the next shiny new toy,” Teresa Epperson, a partner at the consultancy AlixPartners, said in a recent conversation with Bank Systems & Technology. Consumer survey data from AlixPartners from 2012 shows that among smartphone owners looking to switch banks, mobile photo bill pay was the second most cited feature that would motivate a customer to switch institutions, trailing only mobile remote deposit capture.

Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...