Bank of America has launched an electronic banking and bill payment service in selected Midwest markets.
The service, based on the CheckFree Genesis platform, marks the implementation of a strategic alliance forged by the two companies in April 2000. Currently available in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas, the phased rollout will continue over the next several months, says the bank.
"Our goal is to provide all Bank of America customers with access to a fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution that will make a traditionally tedious monthly chore as simple as a few clicks of the mouse," says Jeanine Brown, interactive banking executive, Bank of America.
In addition to accessing their Bank of America accounts through the Internet, customers who subscribe to Online Banking with Bill Pay will be able to view electronic versions of bills from participating billers, schedule one-time or recurring payments for virtually any bill - whether or not it has been delivered electronically - and pay other individuals online rather than by writing a paper cheque.
A recent report from Jupiter Research concludes that electronic billing and payment adoption will take off quickly in 2001, doubling in volume in the next two years. By 2005, the firm predicts, more than 40 million households will view and pay their bills online.
Brown views electronic billing and payment service as a key relationship-building tool for the bank, citing its "stickiness factor" and the tendency for bill-pay customers to do more business with the bank. Bank of America customers who sign up for electronic billing and payment service are more likely to stay with the bank than traditional current account customers and use more of the bank's products and services, she says.
Currently, 210 billers - including leading telecommunications, utility, mortgage, home loan, credit card, insurance, cable and wireless companies - are contracted to distribute their bills using CheckFree's electronic billing and payment service. Bank of America customers will be able to receive their Bank of America credit card bills electronically, in addition to bills from other companies such as AT&T, Sprint, Worldcom, Southwestern Bell, Verizon Wireless, Amoco, Texaco and Sears.
Bank of America says it will market the service to its own commercial and corporate banking client base as an extension of their banking relationship.