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Telstra is upgrading its online bill payment facilities following research that showed online as the preferred payment method by the great majority of customers.

Telstra's research was conducted online by Pure Profile in August 2010 to a representative sample of 1,250 Australians, aged over 18, from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas.

Karen Ganschow, executive director of relationship marketing and online, said the research indicated that more than 85 percent of Australians preferred simple transactions on their PC or mobile phone, rather than in person or over the phone.

"The average Australian has entered a new age of embracing online in their day to day lives. More than a third of us go online daily to perform simple transactions - such as paying bills or checking account information - with 10 per cent using the net up to four times a day to perform these tasks."

(However the fact that the survey was conducted online could bias the results by selecting people who are predisposed to using online services).

Telstra says it will give customers easier online self-serve options for bills and payments including "convenient email bills, a new smartphone billing application and direct debit payment options via My Account."

My Account has also been upgraded to give customers a wider choice of payment options including "one click access to a new direct debit option via an easy-to-use webform." There is also a new 'Recharge Pre-Paid' tab to recharge a pre-'paid mobile, iPad or mobile broadband service.

Ganschow said the new email bill would deliver customers greater convenience, less clutter and could be sent to any email address that a customer chooses.

Telstra says that more than 100,000 customers every week are using a mobile phone application "to quickly and easily view their Telstra account balance" and that since August, more than 280,000 unique users have accessed account information (including balance owing, next payment due date and any overdue amount) via their mobile phone."

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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