Bank of America - which has reported rapid recent uptake in online banking - believes that consumers are becoming more comfortable with conducting their financial affairs over the Internet.
Five million people now use online banking at bankofamerica.com and 2 million use the site to pay their bills over the Net. A year ago, 3.1 million people banked online and 900,000 used the Bank of America Web site for making bill payments.
"We've found that customers go through an evolution in their online banking experiences," says Sanjay Gupta, recently appointed e-commerce executive at the West coast bank. "First, they go online to look at their statements and transactions. Then they start paying their bills online. Now we're seeing that customers want to receive their bills online, too."
Bank of America statistics show that the most popular electronic bills come from credit card companies, followed by utilities. More than 80,000 customers of phone company SBC receive bills electronically through Bank of America, says Gupta.
Much of the increase in online bill payment at the bank followed the suspension of fees for the service in May last year.