With the advent of the digital age, traditional methods of bill payments have taken a hit. According to the latest ACI Speedpay Pulse study, the use of paper checks decreased slightly to 28 percent in Q1 2019 from 32 percent in 2018, with 3 in 5 consumers (60 percent) using checking account deductions to pay their monthly bills, and nearly half (48 percent) using debit cards.
Today consumers prefer digital payments over traditional ones, as they are fast, secure and in many cases, mobile. About 21 percent of consumers used a company’s mobile application to pay a bill in Q1 2019, up from 19 percent in 2018.
Moreover, over the past year, more than 1 in 5 consumers have increased their usage of a company’s website (26 percent) to pay bills, while the same number of consumers have decreased their usage of mail (22 percent) or in-person (21 percent) payments at the company’s location.
ACI Enables Real-time, Any-to-Any Payments to All
ACI was founded in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1975. Through its UP® (Universal Payments) portfolio of solutions, ACI enables real-time, any-to-any payments for more than 5,100 organizations, including banks, intermediaries, merchants, and corporates, in over 90 countries.
The company's broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software solutions enables payment processing for:
- 200+ billion consumer transactions each year
- $14+ trillion in payments and securities transactions each day
- $94 billion in dollar volume for the ACI Speedpay® solutions
Marc Sczesnak, Director, Product Management, ACI Worldwide, says: "As an unrivaled leader with 45 years of experience in billing and payments, we offer the ACI Speedpay solution, an innovating billing and payment option for customers and consumers alike. The ACI Speedpay solution is a trailblazer in the industry, offering the most advanced bill presentment and payment features and security for clients across numerous industries.”
ACI has made major investments in its biller business designed to provide a superior user experience using a scalable state-of-the-art platform within a private cloud environment. The company acquired Speedpay in 2019, adding an additional scale to its platform.
"The new capabilities will allow consumers to view bills from their Apple Wallet or Google Pay and to make payments from their smartphones. This results in organizations being able to increase their mobile channel effectiveness by linking consumers to other valuable products, services, and programs directly from their bills," notes Marc.
ACI also offers an easy and secure point of sale payment options that enable users to start taking payments in more places than ever before, including EMV and P2PE validated solutions that offer end-to-end security for card-present transactions across campus. Additionally, ACI Speedpay offers options to process refunds and other disbursements in real-time with payments pushed to a debit card instead of mailing a check.
ACI Offers Better Payment Experience to Students and Parents
ACI Speedpay is a trusted partner in campus commerce systems, with more than 2,000 higher education implementations.
As per the company’s recent research, higher education institutions receive more payment-related inquiries than other industries, taking valuable staff time away to answer questions. However, 82% of those surveyed also said that it is very or extremely likely that a website with the information they need would prevent them from calling.
The ACI Student Account Portal is a prime example of ACI working with university partners and students to improve user experience.
"The market is clamoring for better user experiences. Integrating student payment plans into the portal enable students at the payment moment of truth to decide between making one payment or spreading it out over several months with a smooth, friction-free environment. Our student payment portal and payment processing solutions help colleges and universities offer students and parents their favorite ways to pay," adds Marc.
ACI Builds a Secure, Omni-channel Platform That Supports Digital Payment for Millersville University
Founded in 1855, Millersville University is a public university serving more than 7,000 students from around the world seeking a top-rated liberal arts education.
One of the most pressing challenges Millersville University was facing was how to best protect sensitive payment information of students while offering a better payment experience. Millersville had all credit card information on their servers, making them the first and last line of defense against breaches. Moreover, their current payment system did not support online and digital payments.
Millersville University wanted to create an omnichannel platform that would optimize their mobile, web, and point-of-sale (POS) payment options.
Millersville migrated student payments information onto ACI’s PCI-compliant platform, virtually eliminating the security burden. And, by leveraging a real-time integration into Banner 9 by Ellucian, Millersville built an omnichannel platform that supported credit card, debit card and ACH capabilities for tuition and 25 additional payment types.
Millersville could also enhance the security of student payment information. The university has since seen an increased demand in students and parents paying online.
What Sets ACI Apart from Competitors
ACI Speedpay conducts the consumer Pulse survey twice per year, providing insights to billing and payment consumer trends while gauging interest in new bill payment methods. ACI also conducts regular studies with billers from the industries we serve to stay on top of the challenges they face. This research is instrumental in developing new and innovative billing and payment capabilities.
"We have leaned heavily on our technologists to provide the best possible experiences for our clients. That starts with a memorable user experience for end-users and cascades through our organization with our high level of reliability and uptime in our private cloud environment. Our new biller platform is easily scalable to handle clients of any size,” adds Marc.
ACI Worldwide: At the Helm
Marc Sczesnak, Director, Product Management, ACI Worldwide
Marc Sczesnak leads the product strategy for ACI’s campus commerce solution. Marc champions the student experience looking to simplify families’ experience of paying tuition. Most recently before joining ACI, Marc led TD’s North American Retail Card Services business as President. Marc grew the business to achieve a 27% Compound Annual Growth Rate over his last three years at TD with a 40% return on invested capital. Marc also orchestrated the rebranding of the Macy’s Star Rewards program and the launch of the largest Gold MasterCard program.
ACI is all set to add more channels and integrated partners into its network and to bring in more payment methods; including alternate and real-time payments. It will offer enhanced analytics and fraud controls, as well as ADA compliance and HIPPA certification.
The company also plans to integrate the student portal with its patented moBills technology and will offer support for international payments and multiple languages on the student portal.
"We have already started our journey toward AI and natural language interactions. And, we will continue to build out our partnerships in order to provide the most robust set of payment options to our clients,” concludes Marc.