Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading provider of information technology services to the financial industry, and BankAtlantic, "Florida's Most Convenient Bank," today announced they will donate a tree for every BankAtlantic customer who signs up for online bill pay and pays at least one bill online between April 3 and May 31, 2008 at BankAtlantic.com.
With assistance from the Arbor Day Foundation, BankAtlantic and Fiserv will plant up to 10,000 trees in forests throughout Florida.
According to a 2007 green banking study by Javelin Strategy and Research, if all U.S. households viewed and paid bills online it would save 16.5 million trees each year. A single tree in one day can provide oxygen for up to four people and discharge up to 100 gallons of water from the ground into the air, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"More consumers are realizing that paying bills online is not only convenient, it also contributes to a healthier environment," said Jarett Levan, president and chief executive officer of BankAtlantic. "We believe the best way to educate our customers about the green advantages of online bill payment is through this initiative, which will have a direct ecological impact on the state of Florida."
BankAtlantic provides customers with Fiserv's online bill payment solution, CheckFree Web RXPsm, under an agreement with FundsXpress, a value-added reseller and provider of Internet-based solutions to financial institutions. Customers can register for BankAtlantic's Totally Free Online Banking & Bill Pay at www.BankAtlantic.com or at any of its more than 100 locations throughout Florida. In addition to the environmental benefits, paying bills online rather than sending paper bills through the mail provides consumers with better security and control of their finances. Consumers can schedule payments on the date of their choosing and more easily monitor and manage account balances. Because recent studies show that identity fraud is more common offline than online, electronic bill pay also helps to reduce the risk of identity theft.
"We recently sponsored a survey in which more than half of American consumers who responded said it was very important to them that receiving and paying bills online benefits the environment," said Todd Lesher, executive vice president and general manager, CheckFree Electronic Banking Services, now part of Fiserv, Inc. "We are committed to working with our banking partners to further educate the public about the positive impact that online banking and bill payment can have on the environment."