BillMatrix Offers New ATM Option

BillMatrix Corp., a provider of outsourced telephone and Internet-based recurring payment services, has created what the company believes is the mortgage industry's first program to allow consumers to pay their monthly mortgage bill over the telephone using an ATM card.

The service was recently implemented with a major mortgage servicer, the company said. The mortgage client was looking to accelerate cash flow and provide customers with a convenient, secure means to make payments.

Leveraging the growing use of debit cards for utility, insurance and other bills was a natural extension of the servicer's automatic, recurring ACH service, BillMatrix said.

Responding to increased consumer demand for expanded payment options, a mortgage servicer can take advantage of an ATM/debit card feature that virtually eliminates returned items, a frequent problem with payments mailed in via checks. Some checks are typically returned due to insufficient funds.

BillMatrix's system validates that funds are available in the account for the payment on a real-time basis and assigns those funds to the mortgage servicer.

Jerry Portocalis, senior vice president of sales and marketing for BillMatrix, said the outsourced service was implemented over a short period of time and with minimal internal investment for the client. The company is now seeking additional business for the service.

"The big deal is that the mortgage company knows immediately whether the consumer has the money or not," he told MSN.

Since the use of an ATM card is cheaper than the use of a credit card, because it is a flat fee rather than as a percentage of the transaction amount, the lender can pay for the service and pass it on free to the borrower. In other cases, the lender may choose to charge a fee to the consumer for using the ATM payment option.

"The cost to offer an ATM is so low that mortgage companies are able to extend this convenience free to the consumer to create customer loyalty and add-on value," Mr. Portocalis said.

BillMatrix provides outsourced payment services for the nation's largest companies using automated consumer interface technologies. Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, BillMatrix works with corporations in the telecommunications, utility, insurance, mortgage and financial services industries to replace paper-based payment methods with electronic transactions.

Consumers are able to make payments via the Internet and telephone, using a variety of credit card, ATM/debit card, and electronic check payment options.

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