Paper checks may be deader than the trees from which they are made — one day. For now, the wholesale movement toward ePayments is gathering some steam and so is the adoption of mobile technology that helps business owners keep track of what they owe and to whom. One firm, MyECheck, has been looking to bridge the divide to faster and safer payments across parties and has its sight set internationally.
In an interview with PYMNTS, MyECheck CEO Ed Starrs said that his firm operates as a software developer and licensing firm that focuses on downloadable applications to be used for billing and payments, which are then deployed across partner companies, such as banks. Much of its software uses mobile interfaces and Web apps to facilitate payments between businesses, though the software can also be used for B2C and P2P transactions.
Among two recent announcements, MyECheck is linking up with electronic funds transfer processor ReceivePay in a deal that reaches across B2B transactions. The former’s eInvoicing and payments capabilities will be offered to the latter’s customers. The movement to embrace digital transactions, especially through MyECheck’s eMobile product, means that bills can be paid electronically and on a same-day basis. “That means lower cost and faster time to payments,” Starrs said, which improves supply chain efficiency.
Starrs noted that his firm integrates at the application level with the ability to facilitate transfers between any checking accounts. The solution itself is turnkey in nature and can help businesses fully automate across small banks and banking customers, payments using QuickBooks and checking accounts on both sides of the transaction. In mobile environments and across the use of the eCheck, there is no restriction on the size of transaction made (as might be common with the presentation of a paper check, say, at a bank and where larger amounts may clear in stages).
Recipients capture an invoice on their phone, open the invoice and can accept it and authorize payment on the spot.
“This is a real check, though it is never in paper form,” said Starrs, “and it clears the same day.” Automated transactions are especially useful in the case of recurring bills or monthly payments to vendors. Invoicing can be done through text, email and where quick response (QR) codes are used, through apps via Facebook, for example. “This means,” said Starrs, “that users can configure the system to what they want — click, open, pay or scan the QR code or process and then pay.”
For transactions across the mobile payment app, said Starrs, interchange fees are avoided, and there is tiered transaction cost per electronic cost to a maximum of $0.25 per transaction. Security measures in place include that there is no exchange of financial or personal data between parties and, other than the authorization of payments (and with the bank itself, either through intrabank or interbank payments), interaction is minimal.
The relatively lower cost of transactions and the mobile interaction between buyers and sellers (whether in B2B or even B2C) mean, according to Starrs, that the payments solutions can be deployed in large scale across developing markets, especially in regions such as Africa, where MyECheck is making inroads. In that push, the partnership with ReceivePay and continued software licensing efforts mean that MyECheck will likely be bringing its offerings to larger financial players, including a “pan-African bank” that operates in several countries in Africa and internationally through payment options, including email and social media platforms. Starrs said the services here would include bill payments and top-off services, such as those seen for airtime on mobile devices. Other markets that could be eventualities for MyECheck, said the CEO, include Brazil and India.