We interviewed some members of our own team who use Neon for their bills, asking them questions about what they need from fintech applications, and how they use Neon and its features.
We hope that their experience can help you gain a better perspective on Neon!
What fintech/banking apps do you use? How would you improve on their usage?
Frank uses Citimobile, Neon, Discover, Ameritrade, Venmo, and Moneymanage, in order to track personal spending behavior, stocks, and transactions, and to check bank balance and bill payments. He finds Ameritrade, Neon, and Venmo simple to use and convenient, but as for the others, he ends up checking them very frequently. This is because he doesn’t get email confirmations, and so has to keep checking and rechecking the apps. The notifications he does get are usually unimportant, so that’s why he has them turned off; however, that means he misses the important information too.
Hao uses Bank of America and HSBC to pay her credit card bills and for bank transfers, Paypal for online transactions, and Venmo for direct transactions, normally between friends. She only uses those apps when she needs them, since she’s not into checking her finances often. She finds that the banking apps could be better designed, though she is overall happy with her usage of those apps.
How did you pay your bills before Neon?
Frank used a credit card to pay most of his bills. It was difficult to get one when he first moved due to having no history, but it’s alright now. “Problem is,” he says, “you don’t realize how much you spent until the bills come.” He also used payments through the website, for the bills he couldn’t pay using a credit card.
Hao paid using electronic checks sent by bank account online. She found that difficult in the beginning, and much less convenient than using debit or credit cards, though paying online was much more convenient than paying in-person. But one month before joining Neon, she forgot to pay her bills and almost ended up with a late fee. That was when she realized she wanted help with it.
How do you use Neon?
Frank uses Neon to pay his electricity and internet bills, as his electricity bill provider doesn’t offer an option to pay with a credit card. He finds himself using the website on a laptop more often than a phone, because he doesn’t have to check the website often, only once every two weeks when bills are paid. He does find, however, that there is a slight delay between when the bill is paid and when that information shows up on the website (usually around two days). He also worries about the security of the website when he adds bills.
Hao uses Neon to pay rent, because it includes most other utilities, and her phone bill is yearly instead of monthly. Like Frank, she usually only uses the website with a laptop, not finding a need to check it often and therefore not needing an app. She finds the website easy to navigate, saying that “everything is visible and clear to understand.”
Are we delivering what we promise on our social media/website/blogs?
“We are definitely not bluffing about what we can provide,” Frank says. He offers the reminder that some bill providers may not be covered on Neon’s list, though it is possible to request that your provider be added.
“We offer everything that we have promised,” says Hao, like being interest-free and paying bills on-time and in installments.
What are your views on the emails & notifications that you receive from Neon? How often do you check them?
Neon sends emails twice per payment– once when payday is coming up and once again when the bill has been successfully paid. Frank is okay with the frequency of these emails, though he thinks now that he has used Neon for a while, he doesn’t necessarily need the reassurance because he trusts Neon to pay his bills.
Hao also likes the frequency, though she says it might be helpful to include the payment schedule in the automated emails. She thinks it might be helpful if Neon sent emails with helpful suggestions on how to save money, though not too often.
How was the process of adding your bills and starting your journey with Neon?
Frank found the application process and the process of adding his bank account simplistic and quick, although adding his bills was a little trickier, so he’s glad Neon now works with Sophtron. He loves the simplicity of the website, and doesn’t feel that it needs any changes.
“It was a very smooth process,” Hao says, though similar to Frank, she was also concerned with security when she first started using Neon.
What bills have you not paid with Neon yet? What is keeping you from adding other bills? Are there any other bills or services that you feel we can add?
Frank doesn’t pay other utilities because they’re linked with his rent, which he pays elsewhere. He would like an option to pay for entertainment services or public transportation cards.
Hao also doesn’t have any more bills that she needs to pay, and would like an option to pay for nonessentials, like streaming services and other entertainment-based subscriptions.
Are there any areas that you feel Neon is lacking in?
Frank would like it if Neon could do more with bill trends– for example, letting you know how far your own bill was from the average, and helping you save money that way.
Hao thinks it might be helpful if Neon had a video on its website that showed its features and how to use it.
If you were to use a few words to describe your bill payment experience now and also how you would like it to be, what would those be?
“My bill payment experience for utilities is automated and connected through Neon. In the future, I would like to continue having a place to check/pay/review all essential utility bills.” -Frank