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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Coinstar kiosks to offer billpay via doxo

By the end of 2018, about 7,000 U.S.-operated Coinstar self-service coin counting kiosks are expected to be online with cash-based bill payments. Coinstar LLC, in partnership with web and mobile bill payment provider doxo Inc., will begin offering consumers a cash option for making credit card, utility, healthcare, phone, insurance, cable, car and other bill payments at designated Coinstar kiosks.

"What we really like about Coinstar is it's self-service and 24/7 for the grocery stores that remain open 24/7," said Jim Kreyenhagen, vice president of marketing and consumer services at doxo. "You don't need to walk up and see an attendant, so it's super convenient for the consumer." The Coinstar network includes nearly 20,000 self-service kiosks in mass merchant, financial institution, grocery and drug store locations globally.

Kreyenhagen noted that 6 percent of U.S. bill payments, representing about $235 billion annually, are cash based. Despite modest year-over-year declines in cash-based payments, the figures have remained robust, supported not only by the unbanked and underbanked, but by consumers who prefer to make in-person, cash-based bill payments, he added.

Doxo recently surpassed 3 million registered users, and through its network of more than 45,000 payable billers, offers consumers credit card, debit card and automated clearing house bill payment options. Billers must opt in to activate the new cash-based payment service. In addition to the new billpay feature, Coinstar will continue to offer conversion of coin-to-cash, coin-to-egift card and charitable donations through its kiosks.

Big on utilities

According to Kreyenhagen, because utility companies are required by law to accept payments of any type, including cash payments, this revenue segment can be a costly endeavor from a management standpoint.

"If you look at the bill basket that consumers pay, we're pretty standard across that bill basket," he said. "We do skew heavily toward utilities, and we think this feature is especially needed within the utility space."

To use the service initially, a code will be sent from doxo to the bill payer's mobile phone once a biller company in the network has been identified. Users must then select "Pay Bills with Cash at Coinstar" and enter the code into the Coinstar machine. "That ensures a seamless transaction of the money that you're putting into that Coinstar machine," Kreyenhagen said. "We can track it all the way."

Depending on how the biller is set up, payment processing times will vary. Doxo noted that consumers will be informed of delivery dates to avoid late fees and charges. At some point in the future, the plan is to have all bill-pay functions executable on Coinstar kiosks. The Coinstar website will enable users to type in a zip code for the nearest billpay location, and doxo plans to list participating billers on its website as well. end of article

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