Nacha to evaluate QR encoding for consumer bill payments

Source: Nacha

The Electronic Payments Association's Council for Electronic Billing and Payment (CEBP) will launch an industry evaluation of the QR Encoding for Consumer Bill Payment Guidelines (the Guidelines), which were released to the public in December 2012.

The industry evaluation, which serves as a second phase in the overall evaluation of the Guidelines, seeks to verify their specifications and usage in various billing and payment models; determine the effectiveness in reducing bill payment exceptions; finalize implementation requirements and considerations; and address market challenges and opportunities.

"Industry input is vital as we work to establish a single QR code specification so consumers can easily view and pay bills from a mobile device," said Jane Wallace, vice president of national markets strategy, Intuit Financial Services. "This evaluation is an important step for testing the effectiveness of the Guidelines with key stakeholders. It will help confirm our hypothesis that an open standard used by billers can deliver a consistent, quality consumer experience."

The QR Encoding for Consumer Bill Pay Guidelines, developed in collaboration with CEBP members and with input from the industry, identify an open standard for using QR codes in various billing and payment models. The goal of the Guidelines is to establish a single QR code format that can reach consumers wherever they view and pay bills - at a financial institution or other aggregation point, or directly with the biller. In this way, billers and service providers can enable QR encoding in a standardized format, providing certainty for biller and banking clients, and ensuring a consistent experience for consumers.

To date, more than 20 companies have agreed to participate in the industry evaluation of the Guidelines. These include: ACI Worldwide, Affinity Bank, Apex Information Technologies, Banno, Billtrust, DST Output, Fidelity Information Services, First Bank and Trust, Harland Financial Solutions, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, Internet Payment Exchange, Intuit, Mitek Systems, PayNearMe, Pitney Bowes, ProfitStars, a Jack Henry Company, and its iPay solutions, U.S. Bank, VELVETECH, Verizon, Wolverine Solutions Group, and Wells Fargo Bank.

"We're excited to participate in the industry evaluation of the QR Encoding for Consumer Bill Payment Guidelines," said Rich Langan, senior product manager, DST Output. "We see the use of QR Codes as a means to reduce data quality issues, decrease costs, improve efficiencies, and enhance the customer experience. It's a win-win for consumers and billers alike and the industry evaluation will help to develop a marketplace of users."

Companies interested in participating in the industry evaluation are encouraged to visit https://cebp.nacha.org/QRcodes to learn more and sign up. Evaluation participants include billers, biller service providers, financial institutions, payments providers, and others. The industry evaluation begins May 1, 2013 and runs through June 30, 2014.

Interested parties can also learn more at this year's PAYMENTS Conference, which will take place April 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. During PAYMENTS, there will be a session entitled QR Codes: The Next Big Idea in eBilling & Payment. This session, which will be held April 22 at 4:30 p.m., will provide attendees with a look into how QR Codes are positioned to revolutionize eBilling and payment and how billers are poised to benefit from use of QR Codes. Additionally, there will be a live demonstration conducted by Intuit/DST Output on April 23 at 1:30 p.m. establishing how QR Codes can be easily implemented in a particular biller and payment model. The demonstration is part of the PAYMENTS 3D Program, a new feature of the PAYMENTS Conference that provides an opportunity for leading payments innovators and challengers to showcase the latest ideas and solutions for the payments industry.

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