Doxo Launches Electronic Bill Management And Payment Website

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This story has been updated from its original version.

To help consumers become more organized and go paperless, Doxo Inc. has launched an e-billing site to enable consumers to pay and manage their bills from multiple providers in one location.

The Seattle-based Web-service provider officially launched its free payment website doxoPAY on Feb. 1 and announced its first payment-accepting provider, Puget Sound Energy, on Feb. 16. The Bellevue, Wash.-based utility's customers now may receive, pay and file their energy bills via their doxoPAY account.

Companies such as Sprint and Kansas City, Mo.-based energy provider KCP&L also are connected to the doxoPAY platform but are unable to accept payment.

Doxo on Feb. 16 announced it secured $10 million in financing from Boston-based Sigma Partners; Menlo Park, Calif.-based Mohr Davidow Ventures; and Bezos Expeditions, the investment fund of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.

Doxo plans to use the funds to support new-product development, expand sales and marketing, and hire new employees. The company also believes the funding will help attract providers to connect to the site.

By connecting with a payment collector via doxoPAY, consumers grant permission for that business to turn off paper mail and deliver documents securely and privately to their Doxo account, Steve Shivers, Doxo CEO, tells PaymentsSource.

Users may check which bills are due by clicking on the “to-do list” within their account, Shivers explains. The list shows users which bills are ready to pay and enables them to view the entire bill, he says.

Accountholders may pay bills by linking their doxoPAY account with a bank account, which Doxo then uses to pay the biller, Shivers notes.

Consumers benefit from this type of site because all bills and information are organized in one account, and businesses also may benefit, Shivers says.

“We provide businesses with a much lower payment processing cost than credit cards or other forms of consumer payment,” he notes. Businesses pay Doxo a small fee when the business sends a bill through doxoPAY, Shivers says, declining to comment on the fee amount.

Doxo essentially is trying to address the pitfalls of other electronic bill-pay options such as through a bank account or through the biller directly, says Gwenn Bézard, co-founder and research director at Boston-based Aite Group LLC. “Those models have not evolved much in the last few years,” he notes.

Moreover, billers need to become more paperless, as often a lot of paper they send to consumers is not necessarily bills, such as statements, explanations of benefits and privacy disclosures, Bézard says. And because no good service for centralizing the flow of paper exists, Doxo has positioned itself as a third online bill-pay model and aggregator with an emphasis on consolidated payments and bill payments, he adds.

Doxo, however, may face the challenge of whether it will find enough billers and companies to participate, Bézard says.

“The company needs to have a critical mass for the service to be beneficial for consumers and billers,” he contends.

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