Friday, September 26, 2008

Consumer personal finance and bill payment : business model enhancements

Please forward to corporate headquarters:
With recent trends in the economy of helping consumers save money on their purchases as well as maximize their savings, personal finance and internet bill payment together can offer consumers huge advantages if the following enhancements are made by companies like eBillmelater, Mint, paypal etc:
a) Offer advantage over credit cards : Customer Purchase prices should be lower by say 2-3% (credit cards can charge 2-3% of purchase price as fees, to merchant) for consumer, and merchant will also thus get lower revenues (which they do anyway, while using credit card too). This is similar to a "cash back rebate", but it is upfront in saving consumers money, and would be a VERY BIG PLUS, and customer base will grow exponentially.
b) Ability to link my other checking/savings accounts : for example, if I have a paypal account, I would like to be able to link all my savings accounts at various banks, and my various credit cards there. And if I make a purchase, then paypal should deduct funds from the LOWEST APR savings account (thereby maximizing the interest that the customer collects), and if I am buying on credit, then paypal should charge that credit card of mine, that charges the LOWEST APR or HIGHEST REWARDS credit card. This helps the consumer manage all his finances AUTOMATICALLY.
c) Help provide cheaper alternatives to customers: Since customer purchase information will be recorded at online billing company, such online billing company can provide a platform for outside financial planners to provide either manual recommendations for alternative/better services, or automated ads, based on consumer purchase history, etc. for example, if a consumer has bought items regularly via AT&T service provider, Cable companies can provide ads there on their cheaper services, and vice-versa. Or if I am paying rent at place XYZ, ads can show better rental/apartment options in close-by neighboring localities. ,,

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