Plastiq iPhone app lets users take a photo to pay bills with cards

Plastiq iPhone app lets users take a photo to pay bills with cards

Startup Plastiq has launched its free iPhone app that lets people in the US and Canada pay bills with their debit and credit cards by snapping a photo.

Once an image of a paper or email bill is captured, Plastiq identifies the biller, their preferred means of receiving payments, the amount due, and the due date.

The app then reminds users when the bill is due and charges payments to preferred credit or debit cards, even if the biller does not normally take cards. Plastiq charges a 1-2.5% service fee.

San Francisco-based Plastiq says that a recent survey it carried out shows that while 98% of Americans pay things such as rent, utilities and tuition by cheque, 79% would rather use their cards.

"No one likes paying bills. People forget to pay them on time, and last year Americans still sent tens of billions of cheques in the mail," says Eliot Buchanan, co-founder and CEO, Plastiq.

"This is because for many industries, accepting credit cards just doesn't make business sense. We bridge the gap, letting anyone pay any bill with any card, regardless of card acceptance."

Comments: (3)

Robin Setty
Robin Setty - ACI Worldwide (EMEA) Limited - Watford 22 April, 2016, 08:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Up to 2.5% to be reminded of a payment? Really?  

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 22 April, 2016, 16:361 like 1 like

Same thoughts in my mind... very high fees for the service... A reminder service that reminds customers to send their cheques can achieve a better outcome for the paying customer and for now fees

The proliferation of Payments companies that pick thinly sliced Use Cases only points to one thing sureley - A consolidation will be around the corner.. only uncertainty is when teh corner will come about..

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 22 April, 2016, 17:14Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Great app. While PayZapp from HDFC Bank has reduced my bill payment woes substantially (HDFC Bank's PayZapp Ends My Bill Payment Woes), Plastiq takes frictionless payments to the next level. I'm eagerly awaiting its Android version.

Not sure why other commenters missed out what the article mentions clearly, namely, that Plastiq's 1-2.5% fees include the facility to pay *ANY* bill via credit / debit cards even if the billers themselves don't accept credit / debit card. That's a great benefit. Every month, I lose the opportunity to earn rewards because many of my billers don't accept credit cards (e.g. office and home landlords). With Plastiq, I can charge those bills to my credit card and start earning rewards.

I don't mind paying 1-odd % fees for the benefits delivered by Plastiq. However, I'm reasonably sure I wouldn't need to pay anything: Like in the case of BillGuard, I'm quite sure some VC or the other would give Plastiq enough funding and tell them to waive its fees for up to a certain number of bills a month.