A new player has announced entry into the bill payment battle for market share between billers and bank consolidators. Manilla is offering an old story but they have a new business model that might work.
Manilla launches today and it could be the nail in the coffin for the US Postal Service. Its goal: To help businesses convert customers to paperless billing by giving consumers an easy tool for organizing and paying bills.
Despite the efforts of utility providers, credit card companies and other billers to convince customers to go paperless over the past decade, less than 15% have opted-in, according to estimates. Some of that resistance is due to the fact that the alternative—the email inbox—is a less than ideal place to receive and track bills.
So a team led by EVP of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication George Kliavkoff, who will leave Hearst to become CEO of the startup, began developing Manilla. The website aims to be a digital filing cabinet, helping consumers organize their bills, subscriptions and memberships, while converting them to paperless billing.
While Manilla is completely free for consumers, the site charges billers for each customer they convert to paperless. That fee is a tiny cut of what the biller saves on printing, collating and mailing costs. But it’s a monthly annuity payment made in perpetuity, and in aggregate, Hearst hopes it will add up.
A number of banks have added eBill capability to their bill payment solutions and some have added Personal Financial Management (PFM) capabilities that help consumers manage their bills in the context of a consumer’s cash flow and budgeting goals. While Manilla has an experienced management team and a few large supporters, such as Comcast and Citibank Cards, it will be interesting to see if this simpler approach gains traction.
For additional read the story from Fortune: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/02/…ney_technology
Click here to read related Mercator’s publication – Electronic Bill Pay and Presentment: Take a Number; a Consumer Will Be Right with You (Maybe)