Online bill payments now account for 50% of all bill payments made by US households with Internet access, according to Fiserv's 2011 Consumer Trends Survey.
Few people realize that even when they make a payment online via their bank's website or through an online bill payment service such as MyCheckFree.com, most online bill payments actually generate a paper check. Unlike traditional remittance payments, however, online bill pay checks are not accompanied by a remittance coupon, are printed in a wide variety of formats and often suffer from missing or incomplete account data. For remittance processors, reconciling these nonstandard online bill pay checks is a very manual, tedious and inefficient process.
ExpertRPS' new Online Bill Pay feature automates the processing of paper checks generated by bank and third party online bill payment services. The first task is recognizing the check formats, which can be different for each bill payment service. The system learns the layout of each new check format so it will automatically be recognized the next time. The biggest challenge is correctly identifying the customer's name and account information which can be located anywhere on the check, is frequently wrong, or may be formatted incorrectly. Then ExpertRPS validates the account number by using a lookup table or by connecting directly to the biller's host system in real time.
Automating this process helps customers settle online bill payments with minimal data entry and no special workflow steps. This is an enormous productivity gain.