The number of US online consumers using the Internet to pay bills has increased from 17% in 2000 to 57% in 2003, according to a survey by research firm InsightExpress.
A survey of 500 online customers found the most common method for paying bills is through a credit card provider's Web site (58%), followed by their primary banking institution's site (52%).
Respondents cited the ability to pay bills quickly as the main benefit of online bill payment (77%), as well as postage savings (56%), being able to schedule payments in advance (47%) and the ability to maintain a centralised payment history (41%).
However, despite the rising popularity of paying bills online, concern about security is still preventing wider take-up. Among the online consumers not using the Web to pay bills, more than three out of four (76%) cited security as the main reason, a number which remains unchanged since 2000.
Other barriers include associated fees (62%), the need to install or configure software (42%), and lack of recourse for any errors committed while paying bills online (42%).
Lee Smith, president and COO, InsightExpress, says: "Firms that offer and promote no-fee online bill payment in combination with limited liability will be most successful in accelerating the transition and preventing the loss of their customers to the competition."