New App Pays Bills by Snapping a Photo

April 25, 2016

New App Pays Bills by Snapping a Photo A San Francisco-based startup called Plastiq has introduced a mobile app for the iPhone that enables consumers to take a photo of any bill and then facilitates payment of the bill using a credit or debit card. From the photo, the app detects the name of the biller, the amount due, the payment due date and how the biller prefers to be paid. Users have the option of paying the bill immediately or putting it in a “to be paid” queue. When users choose the second option, the app will remind them before the due date to ensure the payment is made on time. In either case, Plastiq actually sends the check or bank transfer to the biller and charges the user’s credit or debit card along with a transaction fee (2.5 percent for credit, 1 percent for debit).

While the app is consumer-facing, Plastiq’s CEO Eliot Buchanan told they are exploring partnerships with billers.

“Part of the magic of Plastiq is that we don’t require any participation from the biller for a customer to be able to use their credit card,” Buchanan said. “However, we’ve had many billers that want to partner with us and offer Plastiq as a payment option to their customer base. It’s a win-win for the biller because it allows them to get paid the way they want to and also gives their customers the ability to pay the way they want to. It’s a way for billers to be a part of the move to mobile payments without lifting a finger.”