Online Bill Payers Save Paper, Stamps and Hassle

Online Bill Payers Save Paper, Stamps and Hassle

A recent survey by CheckFree Corporation tracking bill payment behavior, found that that 69 percent of U.S. online households say they are paying at least one bill online. Online payments are steadily replacing check writing as the way to pay bills among those surveyed, with paper checks used for 37.5 percent of all bill payments and online payments used for 35 percent.

Interest in subscribing to a consolidated bill payment service was higher among households that do not currently pay bills online, with 19 percent indicating they were "definitely interested" -- up from 15 percent in 2005.

Among consumers who recently enrolled in a consolidated service, the most influential source of information in their decision was the bank branch, followed by the bank website and word-of-mouth recommendations. Over the past three years, the percentage of consumers citing the influential role of the branch has almost doubled.

Matt Lewis, executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree's Electronic Commerce Division, says "As paying bills online has evolved into a mainstream consumer activity, ironically, face to face interactions such as conversations with account managers or tellers, and brochures given out at the bank branch, remain the most effective way to market the service…"

Current users said paying bills online:

  • Saves paper, stamps and hassle (28 percent)
  • Is the easiest way to pay bills (16 percent)
  • Ensures bills are paid on the day of their choice (12 percent)
  • Is faster than paying by check (11 percent)

Of all online consumers, consolidated users with e-bill were the most satisfied with their bank, online banking and their bill payment service

  • 61 percent of consolidated users with e-bill rated themselves as very satisfied with online banking
  • E-bill users said they were more likely to recommend electronic bill payment to a friend or relative: making 1.9 recommendations on average over the past three months versus customers without e-bill service making 1.2 recommendations.

Among the surveyed consumers who are not currently paying their bills online, the most common barrier to adoption was lack of information about the service, followed by security concerns.

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