A US survey of online households, released by CheckFree, shows that the number of bills paid electronically via the Internet now exceeds the number paid by paper cheques.
The January 2007 survey of 2018 respondents, which was conducted by Harris Interactive and the Marketing Workshop, shows that online payments made up 39% of the total volume of bill payments among Internet-connected households, an increase of four per cent since December 2005.
In contrast, the number of cheques sent through the post to pay bills fell four per cent to 34% of the overall volume.
The research found that almost three quarters of online households - 74% - now pays at least one bill via the Internet, compared to 69% in a December 2005 survey.
Overall the study shows that consumer adoption of EBPP has more than doubled since January 2002 when only 37% of online households reported paying at least one bill online.
CheckFree says paperless billing is also catching because consumers are more aware of the environmental benefits. Around 39% of resondents that use EBPP at bank Web sites no longer receive paper copies of bills. Over half (52%) said saving paper and energy was a major reason for using online bill pay services.
Furthermore, those who pay bills at online banking Web sites reported using more of their banks' financial services than non-EBPP users. Online bill payment customers also tap into more net banking features, such as electronic statements, online account transfers and cheque imaging services.