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TIO is the largest bill payment processor for telecommunications, wireless phone, cable and utility payments. They serve 16 million consumer accounts, and work not just with utility providers but they also serve as the backend for several products servicing unbanked customers.
When Uber and Lyft left the Austin market, other services like Fasten and RideAustin entered the market and filled a consumer need. Those services suffered once Uber and Lyft returned.
The suspension of TIO services, given their scale, is also a huge opportunity for competitor services. It’s a real opportunity for Plastiq to step up. I’ve used them to the tune of six figures since I first learned about the service a couple of years ago myself.
Plastiq will charge your credit card and mail a check. In some cases they now support electronic funds transfers. You can pay bills (and even mortgages but that’s MasterCard only for most customers currently) and earn miles, great for meeting minimum spend requirements and spending thresholds for bonuses but not as good for everyday bills given the 2.5% fee that most bills face — though they’ve also run 0% fees on utility payments in the past.
This is an opportunity to win business, let’s hope they’re ready for it, and that they can maintain their gains if they do step up.