Utility companies are hungry for a mobile bill payment feature to reach customers more effectively, according a survey conducted by Check, a mobile finance management and bill payment company.

While 75% of utility company professionals divulged their company didn’t have a mobile bill payment solution, 51% of respondents said they wanted one.

The survey of 57 utility company professionals was conducted in October.

The respondents said they want mobile payments for several reasons: 24% to decrease billing costs associated with paper statements, 18% to increase customer engagement and 7% to collect money faster and optimize cash flow.

The survey found that one of the top challenges in a utility company launching a mobile payment app is the lack of IT resources to build one.

Check is one company providing mobile bill payment options to the utility industry. This summer, the Desert Water Agency in Palm Springs, Calif., chose Check to provide residents a way to pay their water bills through a smartphone app. Check’s Money and Bills app supports credit cards and bank transfers.

Alltel Wireless also began working with Check this summer, bringing the mobile app to all smartphone offered by Alltel, a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. Irvine Ranch Water District also uses Check.  

In September, Check received $24 million in funding to expand its biller partnership program.

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