Alliance & Leicester Commercial bank says more than 1.9 million online bill payments were made by its business customers via its automated BillPay Web site in 2007, representing a year-on-year increase of more than 70%.
Graham Long, head of payment services at A&L Commercial Bank, says the 2007 figures highlight the growing number of business customers choosing to enable their customers to make payments online.
"The growth we have seen over the last few years clearly indicates that the Internet is fast becoming the preferred bill payment channel for many," says Long.
A&L's BillPay service was launched in July 2000 and over 200 bill issuers now use the service. The service is used by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as well as utility companies, local authorities, housing associations and debt collection agencies.
A US study by ForeSee results and Forbes released last year found that customers who pay bills via their bank's Web site are more satisfied with the bank and the online banking experience than those who don't. They are also significantly more likely to purchase additional services from the bank.
The data also suggested that converting online bankers to online bill paying customers represents the best opportunity for banks and credit unions to increase share of wallet while driving customers toward the most cost-efficient channel for services.