Covid-19 has seen many Aussie households experience financial stress like never before, but with the help of a new innovative platform many are getting the support they need.
It’s called Deferit, a bill payment platform that helps people pay their bills on time and avoid any late payment fees or stress.
Aussies who are struggling to pay their energy bills on time can sign up to the platform, upload their bill and Deferit will pay the bill immediately on the customer’s behalf. The customer will then have to pay the cost back in four equal installments.
Deferit works just like Netflix, where users are only charged a monthly fee of $5.99 when they use the service. There’s no interest or any other fees charged during the process and, according to Deferit, there is no comparable product on the Australian market.
Energy bills in focus
According to Deferit, energy bills are the most common bill type Aussies are seeking help for, with more than 27,610 bills so far paid this year.
Specifically, almost 11,000 Origin Energy customers have paid their bills via the platform within the last 12 months. The average bill amount paid using Deferit was $240.
“Energy bills in most cases come in quarterly and are quite ‘lumpy’. For most people, it’s a bill they haven’t budgeted for as well as they might have liked,” said Deferit co-founder and chief executive officer, Jonty Hirsowitz.
Less than 19% of those Origin Energy bills recorded in Deferit’s data were overdue. The majority of its customers are actually paying their bills before the due date.
“Almost 80% of Deferit users will use our platform to pay an energy bill ahead of time. We know that energy customers using Deferit are looking to get ahead (and stay ahead of) their finances,” said Hirsowitz.
Of the customers who were previously late to pay their energy bill, 42% went on to pay the next bill on time, which Hirsowitz said is a positive effect bill payment and budgeting behavior.
These customers are aware of the consequences of paying late and see Deferit’s deferred payment model as a way to balance their expenses responsibly and proactively.
And when it comes to the type of people signing up to Deferit, interestingly the majority of customers are female.
“Women make up almost 70% of our user base. The majority are below the age of 45, suggesting they are part of a younger family cohort,” Hirsowitz said.
Think you’re paying too much for your energy bill? Find out by using our energy comparison tool!