To make bill paying even easier, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced an expanded relationship with CheckFree, now part of Fiserv Inc. (Nasdaq: FISV), a leading provider of information technology services to the financial and insurance industries.
Customers now have the option to receive and pay their AT&T wireless phone bills through more than 3,000 financial institutions' Web sites.
AT&T's expanded relationship with CheckFree means customers can sign up through their banks' Web sites to receive eBills, or online statements, from AT&T. The AT&T eBill service lets customers access their current statements online, customize payment options and view archived account histories for their service. Through the new alliance, billing and account information is securely delivered to customers online through their preferred financial institutions.
"Customers today are demanding choice and convenience in how they view and pay their bills online," said Brian Daly, director, AT&T Mobility. "They enjoy the simplicity of being able to manage their bills at their individual banking service provider, so they can consolidate their finances in one central location online. Our goal is to provide customers with a variety of billing and payment options so they can choose the method that best meets their needs."
The new addition to AT&T's eBill portfolio also underscores the company's commitment to sustainability initiatives, including its advisory role and membership with the PayItGreen Alliance™ — an alliance of financial institutions and billing companies that encourages consumers to make financial transactions via the Web, rather than through traditional mail. Fiserv and CheckFree are also members of PayItGreen, which is focused on educating consumers and businesses about the environmental benefits of choosing electronic billing, statements and payments instead of paper. Learn more at www.payitgreen.org.
According to the PayItGreen Alliance, if 20 percent of U.S. households switched to electronic bills, statements and payments, it would save more that 151 million pounds of paper, avoid the creation of nearly 1.5 billion gallons of wastewater, eliminate the production of nearly 4 billion pounds of greenhouse gaseses and avoid the use of nearly 103 million gallons of gasoline each year.
A recent Forrester Research survey found that 48 percent of consumers selected "It's better for the environment" as the top reason why they stopped receiving paper bills and opted instead to receive them online.
"Recent research has shown that the majority of consumers now prefer viewing and paying their bills online, as opposed to receiving paper bills in the mail," said Michelle Flint, vice president and group executive, Fiserv Internet Banking and Electronic Payments Group. "We are committed to working with AT&T to further educate the public about the positive impact that online bill payment and eBills can have on the environment."
AT&T customers made nearly 85 million online bill payments in 2006 and more than 92 million online bill payments in 2007, an 8.2 percent increase over just one year. The company expects even more customers to pay their bills online in 2008.
Consumers can learn more about how they can get started receiving and paying their bills online at www.ebillplace.com. The CheckFree-sponsored Web site also provides green and money-saving calculators and allows consumers to search for banks and billers that offer online billing and payment services.