How do you pay your monthly bills to service providers? For me bill payments are a multi-step, very painful process. Let us say I want to pay my internet access bill to Zuku. This is what happens to me every month.
It starts with a reminder text from Zuku, at the most inopportune time, for example on a Tuesday at 10 am, while I am in a meeting. Like the typical notifications-loving millennial, I check the text. “Bah! It is Zuku. Nothing fun. My bill is due, I will pay later”. Then I forget about it.
The next time I remember to make the payment is the following day, say at 7 am as I rush out of the house. I make a note to pay when I get to the office. I forget, until the morning the bill is due for disconnection when I scramble around to pay.
The actual payment process is a pain:
- I scroll back to the last payment text to check the account number, or I consult a Google Keep document which has all my bill numbers.
- If I went with the texts option, I keep scrolling to see if Zuku has recently sent us a text with their PayBill number (most times I do not find it)
- I make a note to save the number beside the account number on Google Keep (I forget to do it)
- I go through my handbag, trying to find my M-Pesa phone, which is different from my regular business line (hoping that my daughter returned it after she watched Peppa Pig last night 😀 )
- I find the phone. Unlock the business phone, check the two numbers again, then painstakingly input them into M-Pesa and finally, the bill is paid.
- At the end of the week, I update my expense tracking software with the payment
It is a slow, painstaking process that I have come to resent over time, to the extent of my internet getting disconnected because I keep procrastinating on payment. That separation between business and personal lines also means I cannot use the popular bill payments apps because my personal line does not host apps.
Buying electricity units is trickier for me. Since my M-Pesa line is ported from another service provider, Kenya Power tokens system does not recognize it, so when I pay for my tokens, I have to call to get the tokens manually.
Now what? Do I buy a new phone just for bill payments?
Turns out I no longer need to. The CBA Loop bill payments service does all the 6 steps above in one painless step. The app allows you to pay your DSTV, GOTV, Startimes, Zuku Fiber, Business Permits, Parking, NHIF, KPLC (both pre-paid and post-paid) and many other providers and it is linked to your Loop bank account and not a mobile service provider – meaning that you can use it on any phone.
The beauty of Loop is that I no longer need to remember the account number or the PayBill number for any of the providers. I just input all my account numbers once, and whenever I want to pay, the process is “one-click”. As a sucker for efficiency, what else could I ask for?
The bonus and sweetener for me is that the bill payments section is linked to the Personal Finance Manager, which automatically tracks my expenditure.
With Loop, I no longer need two phones and three apps (expense tracker, M-Pesa, and Google Keep), it is One Phone, One App.