Customers demand real choices for bill payment.
Jeff Miller is a director and Gordon Hilbun is a managing consultant with Navigant Consulting. Peter Shaw, formerly with Navigant, is founder and managing director of the Intelligent Project.
In the world of utility bill payments, few issues have generated more controversy than the use of credit, debit and pre-paid cards. Generally, regulated utilities have been unable to build a compelling business case to offer no-fee card payments to customers, preferring instead to partner with third-party processors (TPPs) who happily charge convenience fees to card users. Card companies such as Visa and MasterCard—and the banks that issue their cards—struggle to create the right formula to entice large utilities to absorb card processing fees, in hopes of unlocking one of the remaining hold-out industries with significant card volume growth potential.