Post Office group Consignia has launched a free online bill payment service for UK consumers.
Consignia's Bills Online service provides a single Web site where consumers can view, pay and store a range of bills. Bill issuers, such as utility companies, will pay a small fee for presentment and payment of their bills as well as an initial establishment fee.
"We have developed this technology to enable billing companies to offer their customers another choice for how they view, pay and store their bills," says Jim Pang, Consignia's director of electronic services.
He says the service will provide customers with the convenience of accessing their bills in one place rather than visiting billers' sites individually.
The Post Office is offering billers a number of presentment and payment options, including non-transparent redirection to biller Websites. "We are talking to a number of large companies keen to offer their customers more viewing and payment choices," says Pang.
Five hundred million bill payment transactions are currently made via Post Office branches every year.
"Our research proves that consumers feel Post Office branches are a trusted and reliable bill payment service provider," says Pang. "Eight out of 10 businesses surveyed consider us to be an excellent choice for this service."
He adds that research has shown there is a demand particularly from small businesses who may be able to reduce bank charges on cheque encashments.
The Bill Online service is using technology from Connecticut-based Pitney Bowes docSense.