Magazine article American Banker

Small-Biller Use Grows for Fiserv Bill-Pay Site

Magazine article American Banker

Small-Biller Use Grows for Fiserv Bill-Pay Site

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel Wolfe

Fiserv Inc.says its MyCheckFree.com payment site has become a key part of small billers' bill-payment strategies.

The Web site handles payments on behalf of billers, and though it was originally designed to appeal to any kind of company, online bill payment is now a common element of larger billers' Web sites.

As a result, big billers have moved off the Fiserv site, but smaller ones have moved in, said Lori Stepp, a director of product management and marketing for the electronic biller services division of Fiserv's CheckFree business.

In the early part of the decade, when online bill pay was a much newer concept, "we built that MyCheckFree site because it was an easy plug-and-play to get billers up and running quickly and inexpensively," Ms. Stepp said in an interview last week. Today, "there are still some smaller billers who may not be willing to invest in a fully customized site, and referring consumers to MyCheckFree meets their needs."

Fiserv acquired the Atlanta bill-pay technology and service provider CheckFree Corp. in December of 2007.

MyCheckFree.com has 5 million active users. It uses the same bill-pay software Fiserv offers directly to banks; the only feature the site lacks that the company offers to banks is the ability to send check payments to billers not connected to its CheckFree unit electronically.

The number of users increased 11% last year and 10% in 2007, Ms. Stepp said.

Though people can pay multiple billers, just as they can with the bill-pay services offered through banks, most of MyCheckFree.com's users pay just a single bill every month, to the biller that referred them to the site, Ms. Stepp said.

Jennifer Roth, a research director with the global payments practice at TowerGroup Inc., a Needham, Mass., independent research firm owned by MasterCard Inc., said Fiserv and other providers of bill-pay services have done a good job of convincing big billers to add payment capabilities to their Web sites. …

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