U.S. Bancorp Rolls Out Photo Tool for Mobile Payments

The company said it is the first major bank in the country to offer such a tool to its customers; the feature eliminates the need to manually fill in certain fields when paying a bill with a mobile device.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp said Thursday that it has introduced a tool that allows users to pay their bills by snapping a photo with their smartphone or tablet.

The tool is called Mobile Photo BillPay, and U.S. Bancorp claims it is the first major bank in the country to offer it to customers. The company announced in December that it planned to partner with San Diego-based software firm Mitek to develop the tool.

After a user snaps a photo of his or her paper bill, Mitek’s patented technology securely extracts relevant information and automatically populates the fields required to make a mobile payment, thus eliminating the need to manually insert that information.

The feature is free to customers using U.S. Bank’s iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile banking apps.

“We continue to leverage the capabilities of smartphones and use innovative ways of making banking more convenient for our customers,” Niti Badarinath, senior vice president and leader of U.S. Bank’s mobile banking channel, said in a statement. “U.S. Bank customers were among the first in the nation to be able to use their mobile device to deposit checks. Now, we’ve made it really easy for our customers to enroll and use BillPay, add billers, and pay bills whenever and wherever they choose.”

U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, is Minnesota’s largest bank-holding company based on assets, which totaled $351.3 billion as of December 31.