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Paying bills from your smart phone

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Area residents with smart phones can now pay a bill by submitting a picture of it.

First Financial Bank is the first chain in the US to offer this service and area residents with iPhones or androids can sign up for it at the branch in Hereford.

First Financial says many customers were asking for this bill pay option. The Hereford Branch's President Mike Mauldin says, "They wanted the ability to pay bills with the app. And about a year ago we set out to be able to pay those on the app, and came up with the idea of taking your picture. And we talked to the service provider for us. And they were able to come up with this."

The bank says you download their app, take a picture of your bill, enter an amount, and hit okay.

About 40% of First Financial's home banking customers have subscribed to this new method, and the bank says there haven't been any complaints. Mauldin says, "We hadn't had any problems with the "Picture Pay". Everything is just as it was sold." The process can be completed as fast as overnight.

To protect your personal information, they use IT security, firewall software, and device fingerprinting. Alternative Delivery Channels Sr. Vice President Jeff Casey says, "We can look at specific characteristics on that mobile phone. So when a user logs into our banking mobile site, we compare those characteristics. And if it's something that is out of the ordinary, it's a brand new mobile device. There's something, significant changes from what we're expecting. We can then prompt for additional authentication."

And even when using public Wi-Fi, Casey says, "We encrypt the data that comes out of the mobile device out of our application when it's transmitted. So even if it was intercepted, it's encrypted information that can't be read."

First Financial says they'll also soon be offering the option of turning your debit card on and off from your phone.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

 

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