Sep 22, 2016
We are now just one month away from Money20/20, a conference and trade show billed as “the world’s largest payments & financial services innovation event.” Now in its fourth year, the show has grown to more than 10,000 attendees, 500+ exhibitors and about 125 educational sessions. This will be my third year presenting and moderating at the event, with our research helping to cover the household bill pay component of the broader payments market that will be on exhibit.
This year, I will be hosting a session entitled Transforming the Bill Consolidation Market: Research & New Entrants. Read more »
Oct 24, 2013
The account consolidation and mobile bill payments markets continue to heat up, with a variety of innovative services and growing consumer interest creating pressure on billers to support consolidation and provide mobile options. One of the most active players has been Check, which announced in September a $24 million Series C investment–from Menlo Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Pitango Venture Capital–bringing the total investment to $49 million. Already with millions of active users, Check is now offering its mobile bill pay service to billers who want to fill this gap within their payment options.
As a refresher on Check, here is what you need to know:
- Free mobile app to pay and track bills
- Changed its name from Pageonce in May
- Founded in 2007 to provide online account consolidation and tracking
- Expanded into bill payments with an emphasis on mobile (98% of usage)
- Cites 10 million users and averages $2 million/day in bill payments processed
- Users have access to 8,000+ billers by entering user ID and password
- Revenue comes from Read more »
Aug 21, 2013
In December of 2010, John Schloff briefed me on a new service called Volly that Pitney Bowes was working on. He later left the company, and now after nearly a year and a half on the sidelines of the digital mailbox services market, Schloff has joined new entrant Eco-mail as Managing Director of Marketing. Unlike Digital Postal Mail, doxo, Manilla and Volly, Eco-mail has no intention to create its own consumer destination. Its goal is to act as an open architecture exchange that connects producers of mail (e.g., banks, insurance providers, telcos, utilities) to their customers through any company (e.g., bank, telco, email provider, eCommerce provider) that wants to be a distributor.
Eco-mail at the Intersection of Producers, Distributors, and Consumers
I caught up with Schloff ahead of the announcement to get his perspective on coming back into the market. Here is what he had to say:
“I learned a lot during the early days of Volly, and have been watching the market intently since. It’s clear to me that four things have to happen to open this market up. First, Read more »
May 3, 2013
Pitney Bowes held a Financial Analyst Day in New York City today. While technology analysts were not invited to be there in person, I followed the live stream online. I was surprised when I first scanned the presentation slides and saw no mention of Volly. This was a significant departure from recent years and reflects the entry of a new CEO. Marc Lautenbach appears as though he is not going to put Volly on the same pedestal that former CEO Murray Martin did.
That said, Lautenbach addressed Volly toward the end of his opening remarks.
“Volly is one of our important growth opportunities, but Read more »
Nov 8, 2012
When it announced its third quarter earnings last week, Pitney Bowes said that it was deferring availability of its highly-anticipated Volly secure digital delivery service until 2013. Pitney Bowes originally told investors, analysts, employees, and partners that the service would be launched in the “second half of 2011.” In its earnings report, Pitney Bowes noted that it:
“has decided to add to and enhance its technology to provide additional capabilities that will improve the onboarding process for billers. This will result in improving the scalability of the service and facilitating biller density.”
There are two potential reasons for this. Either Pitney Bowes has lost focus on its U.S. launch while trying to license its platform internationally with partners like Australia Post Digital MailBox, or they have reached a point where they are too caught up in perfection to launch before the service is fine-tuned and enough brands have signed on.
Here’s a summary of the last two years of announcements from Pitney Bowes and its partners Read more »
Feb 13, 2012
I presented at the Zumbox Advisory Board meeting in Napa last week and took the opportunity to catch up with the Zumbox team. If you are not familiar with Zumbox, it is a cloud-based, digital postal mail system replacing physical mail with a closed, secure, and interactive communications channel providing value to businesses and consumers. It delivers exact facsimiles of paper documents with features that include tracking, targeting, and campaign management integration. The Figure below provides a view of what the Zumbox user experience looks like on different media.
Digital Postal Mail, Powered by Zumbox
Here are a few important points from my discussion: Read more »
Jan 31, 2012
I will be meeting with the Executive Committee at Hearst Corporation to discuss the digital mailbox services market today and thought it would be a good time to provide an update on the progress that we are seeing with Hearst Corporation’s Manilla service, one of the key providers in the U.S. for digital mailbox services. For a refresher on Manilla, it is a free service that allows consumers to manage their bills, financial accounts, travel rewards programs, subscriptions and other digital accounts all in one secure place online and on mobile devices. With Manilla, tasks that were once a hassle, such as paying bills, tracking travel miles or filing statements can become convenient and easy to do. The Figure below shows what an AT&T account summary page in Manilla looks like. Read more »
Jan 13, 2012
doxo’s CEO and Co-founder Steve Shivers made a special trip to our Boston offices this week to update us on the service. If you are not familiar with doxo, it is a network enabling businesses and customers to connect and interact. doxo provides consumers a free digital file cabinet to receive and organize documents; make payments; and backup their key account information for multiple providers in one place. Based in Seattle, doxo is funded by Bezos Expeditions, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Sigma Partners with announced partnerships with AT&T, Kansas City Power & Light, Oregon Employee Federal Credit Union, Puget Sound Energy, Sound Community Bank, Sprint, and other small regional businesses. The Figure below shows a sample provider profile page for a user who has connected with AT&T. Read more »
Dec 8, 2011
InfoTrends announced publication of a studyÂ entitled The Emergence of Digital Mailbox ServicesÂ this week, which looks at a new secure digital delivery channel that we expect will become an important channel for paperless delivery of transactional mail.Â This does not bode well for the USPS in its current form, unless it finds a way to participate in this market. Based on an extensive analysis of surveys with over 1,500 consumers; 300 businesses across 8 vertical markets; and in-depth interviews with more than 25 leading service bureaus, billers, financial institutions, and digital mailbox service providers, InfoTrends estimates that digital mailbox services will deliver 2 billion paperless transactional documents to U.S. consumers in 2015–representing 7% of all transaction documents, 19% of all paperless delivery, and $323 million in transaction document delivery fees alone.
The scary truth from our research is that consumers and businesses expect the importance of the U.S. Postal Service to decline dramatically over the next 10 years… andÂ this data was collected before recent news about slower delivery. We asked consumers, “relative to your lifestyle, how would you rate the value of the USPS today, in 5 years, and in 10 years?” As shown in the Figure below,Â only 42% of consumers expectÂ the USPS toÂ be important or vital to them in 10 years.
Business response was similar, with 23% expecting the USPS to be vital, 48% expecting it to be useful, and 29% anticipatingÂ that it will not be necessary in 10 years. Read more »