Jun. 7, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Bill Payment

Twenty years ago there were a couple of ways to pay your bills. You got a bill in the mail and you went to their office and paid it in cash. You could mail them a check, You could pay with your credit card, but you would still write a check to the credit card company. There was a problem paying bills that a few people saw on the horizon.

I met a guy who worked at a phone company who explained the problem. They used to mail out an monthly itemized bill to customers. With the rise of cell phones, the bill listing every phone call a customer made became several pages. If a million customers get a ten page bill, it would take more than month to print and send out everybody’s bill. You might get your January bill by March.

One approach was to print the bills faster. A large multinational corporation tried to develop the fastest laser printer in the world. It was so fast that the paper rolling through it would catch fire from friction. It had special cooling units and a built in fire extinguisher. In the end it was not fast enough. Besides, the bills were so big that the phone company would lose money just on the postage of these big bills.

The internet came just in time. Today most people pay bills with their phone. No paper, no postage, just payment. The device that caused the problem provided the solution.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.