HSBC and Lloyds TSB have signed up to develop and participate in the electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service set up by UK clearing house Bacs and CheckFree.
The banks are the first to sign up for the service, called Bacs EBPP, which has been established to provide UK consumers with access to electronic bills and statements via bank Web sites. It combines Bacs' bank-owned clearing house facility with CheckFree technology.
Bacs says the service will provide the ability to manage bills alongside an online bank account, without the need for multiple passwords across different billers' sites. Furthermore, integration between billing operations, accounts receivable and customer care systems will also reduce costs for billers.
Marion King, CEO, comments: "Working with HSBC and Lloyds TSB is encouraging for the future of our joint venture and a clear signal to billers to get on board. Strengthening customer relationships, reducing the reliance on paper bills while streamlining billing, accounts receivable and customer care operations is a win-win situation for everyone."
Martin Kearsley, managing director of the new company, says research that billers providing customers with online functionality experience lower costs and faster payment.
CheckFree says billers in other countries that have adopted this model have seen benefits such as strengthened customer relationships and operational efficiencies and once these services are easily accessible, customers who view and pay bills online at a bank site rarely go back to former less efficient methods.
In December last year, CheckFree and Bank of America re-negotiated a ten year contract - originally signed in April 2000 - for EBPP services, following rapid consumer uptake and positive future growth-rate projections.