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Payment Processing Case Study

Billings Mutual Insurance (BMI)

Billings Mutual Insurance (BMI) is a progressive farm mutual based in Billings, MO. Established in 1891, the company has grown to serve over 20,000 policyholders and has over $3 billion of insurance in force.Their growth is attributable to their outstanding service to policyholders and the 200 agencies that represent them.

Customer service is critical to BMI’s success, so efficiencies in day-to-day operations are essential. IMT Apps software is an important key to that efficiency.  This Des Moines, Iowa- based software provider was first introduced to BMI when IMT acquired several software platforms, and they’ve been working hard ever since to bring best-in-class capabilities to BMI and other insurance company customers.

A Better Payment Process

A few years ago, Billings Mutual processed a high volume of premium payments but did not offer electronic payment methods. Customers were asking to make payments over the telephone and to set up regular automatic payments. In addition, BMI’s non-electronic payment process involved numerous manual steps and required a significant amount of administrative time. Customers, agents and office staff all needed to find and implement a better method.

An improved payment process has now become a major component in meeting customer expectations.To respond to customer demand, Billings Mutual added both telephone and automated payment options.The company enlisted the services of ReliaFund to process these electronic payments through the appropriate banking channels and deposit collected funds in the Billings Mutual accounts.

Because IMT Apps is connected directly to ReliaFund, the collection process is easy and efficient.Through payment features in IMT Apps, Billings Mutual seamlessly handles both credit card and ACH payments. ReliaFund reports track all of BMI’s electronic transactions and provide notifications of NSF if they occur.

Results and Benefits

The integration of IMT Apps with ReliaFund means the entire payment process requires little effort by BMI employees. Policyholders can pay directly by ACH debit to their bank account, or by credit card. Efficient, on-time electronic payments are easily tracked throughout the process.And while BMI still accepts checks, the efficiency of electronic processing has met customer demands and eliminated questions about when or if a payment was received, a critical issue in the insurance world.

The shift to electronic payments has saved Billings Mutual a significant amount of office staff time. Because agents can assist in the payment process, labor costs are further reduced.The cost of electronic transaction processing is more than offset by this savings. Most importantly, customers have noticed.They appreciate the flexibility, convenience, and control of payments by telephone, automatic debit and credit card.

Jo Ann Halter, the assistant treasurer for BMI, reports the company now processes 25-30,000 premiums annually by ACH or credit cards.To manually process that many check payments again would be very expensive.“Our customers enjoy the convenience of electronic processing and would not want to go back.They save thousands of dollars in postage annually, while we’ve reduced our overhead costs to the benefit of our policyholders.”

Recent Updates

In 2014, BMI further improved their process by offering the ability to make payments directly online through the company’s web site.This enhancement helps meet the needs of customers in a busy world, while reducing the number of phone payments that must be handled.

QUICK LOOK

Largest mutual company in Missouri

Over $3 billion insurance in force

Annual premiums exceed $20 million

20,000 policyholders, 200 agencies

“We’ve reduced our overhead costs to the benefit of our policyholders.”

Jo Ann Halter, Assistant Treasurer

Billings Mutual Insurance

PAYMENT SERVICES USED

ACH Transaction Processing

Credit Card Processing

“Our customers enjoy the convenience of electronic processing and would not want to go back.”

Jo Ann Halter, Assistant Treasurer

Billings Mutual Insurance

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