US online customers that are able to pay multiple bills from a single Web site are the most satisfied with their Internet banking services, according to a survey conducted by The Marketing Workshop and Harris Interactive on behalf of CheckFree.
According to the survey of 2000 US consumers, firms that offered "consolidated" electronic bill payment services from one Web site were viewed more favourably by customers when compared to the satisfaction levels of consumers that have to pay bills one at a time at different "biller direct" sites.
More than 50% of those who paid multiple bills from a single site indicated that they were, as a result, less likely to switch to another financial institution.
The survey found that consolidated site users also believe they are better able to manage and organise their finances. Time saving was cited by 85% of respondents as the primary reason for receiving and paying e-bills at one site, along with convenience (83%) and improved organisation (75%), while 78% said the e-mail notofications reminding them to pay online - which helps protect a consumer's credit score - was one of the main benefits of the service.
Customer satisfaction was shown to be even stronger among consumers who were accessing live, data-fed e-bills sent by the biller to the financial site to view and pay, with 67% rating themselves as "very satisfied" paying bills via the consolidated method - a 23% increase over those who pay bills at biller direct sites. Furthermore 62% these users were also "satisfied" with their online banking services - a 15% increase over those who do not use the consolidated service at all.
The survey also shows that consolidated users are "heavier users" of general banking services, with a higher percentage having current, savings and money market accounts, and car, personal/student and home equity loans.
Commenting on the results, Steve Olsen, executive vice president and general manager, e-commerce division, CheckFree, says: "As mainstream consumers continue to adopt personal electronic commerce, the consolidated model of electronic billing and payment is proving to be a winner for consumers, billers and financial institutions.
"Consumers who use these services report a more satisfying experience overall when they can receive electronic bills and make payments to anyone from one site."