Start-up SmartBill has launched the UK’s first subscription management platform in the shape of a robot for locating, tracking and managing bills to avoid “subscription traps” and save money.

It comes at a time when the Government is considering new proposals to combat the subscription trap problem, which costs the UK £4bn every year. Subscription traps commonly begin with companies requesting credit or debit card information for a free trial, and then automatically charging the customer, usually on a recurring basis, without any further notice once the trial ends.

SmartBill is a free service that enables individuals to automatically identify subscription payments that often go unnoticed in their monthly bank statements. Given such subscription fees are typically small and occur infrequently they are tough to spot, however if not managed, they can total thousands each year.

Users can use SmartBill to identify and cancel unwanted services in a single click, eliminating the need for cancellation calls to multiple providers. The software takes just minutes to set up and uses the same back-end provider as Money Supermarket group companies, operating with bank level security.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg” says SmartBill CEO, Nikhil Shah. “In the future, we will save people money across the entire spectrum of household payments. We want to take the hassle of contract monitoring and deal sourcing away from the consumer so they have the best deal for everything, all of the time.”

International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that approximately 30 percent of applications will be in the form of “robot as a service” models by 2020 and 60 percent of those will be via robotic software.

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