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SMS solution to credit card debt

18 May 2005  |  7244 views  |  0 mobile  motorola

Over three quarters of UK adults (77%) would like the ability to use their mobile phones to authorise payment of credit card bills, according to a survey commissioned by mobile payment technology provider Upaid.

According to the research, a third of 18 to 64 year olds would like to be reminded of credit card bill payments by sms text message. Of these, 62% want to be able to reply to that text message to authorise payment for varying amounts.

The figure is even higher in the 18 to 34 year old age group, with half of all respondents wanting a text message reminder, of which seven in ten want to reply to instruct the payment amount.

Upaid says its research shows that one in four people using direct debit to pay credit card bills find debts mount-up because they automatically pay only the minimum amount each month. According to the survey, three quarters of UK adults believe the ability to authorise payments of credit card bills via text would give them more control over their finances.

Ashley Ward, CEO of Upaid, says: "Our survey shows that credit card users are aware that paying by the minimum amount can cause long term debt but they don't have a simple enough mechanism to adjust their payments each month."

The research coincides with government plans to introduce a consumer credit bill which would force credit card companies to better warn customers of the risks of repaying only the minimum monthly amount.

Ward says a number of major lenders are already considering a text message reminder and payment authorisation service. Earlier this year, French store card group Cofinoga launched a mobile payment service for monthly credit card bills.

The service uses Upaid's Text cheque application which sends a text message to remind the cardholder payment is due. The customer replies using a previously allocated password and indicates the payment amount to authorise the transfer of funds from a bank account.

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