An appetite for innovation has seen Toowoomba chosen as the guinea pig site to trial a rate paying app and so far the gamble has paid off.
Sniip, the first new payment option on government bills since BPAY is currently the only dedicated mobile payment channel.
Toowoomba Regional Council was chosen for the Australia-first trial due to its appetite for innovation and their commitment to improving the customer experience, a spokesman said.
In what developers admitted was a quiet launch, over 200 people downloaded the app to pay the last council water bill and it will now be offered on this current council rates notice.
“Customer feedback has been all positive and if the trial continues to prove successful, consideration will be given by council to include it as a permanent payment option,” the spokesman said.
“Sniip is working with several government agencies and utilities so that Toowoomba residents will have multiple opportunities to pay with Sniip by mid-2016.”
Sniip is a mobile payment application built not around a bank or payment brand, but rather, around the consumer.
Users download the app on Apple or android phones and the consumer enters their payment and personal details into a virtual “wallet” inside their mobile device.
Sniip assured The Chronicle that it does not hold any payment card information – this is at all times held by the consumer.
Using the scanner built into the Sniip app, they can then scan a Sniip code (trademarked circular QR code) on a notice to pay a bill, or on retail advertising (displaying a Sniip code) to buy that product, confirming their payment with a 4-digit security pin.
The next major release of Sniip will allow customers to elect to receive their bills electronically directly to the app, without the need to receive a paper bill.
“We will further expand the billing functionality to allow users to receive and pay for their bills directly within the Sniip app,” a company spokesman said.
“It allows a user to receive a bill via mobile push notification and then tap on the amount – as opposed to scanning – to immediately pay it.”