Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading provider of information technology services to the financial industry, announced today that Verizon Communications has signed a multi-year extension for their electronic billing and payments solution. Secure, convenient and "green" electronic billing is made easier for Verizon's wireless and landline customers, who can choose to view and pay their bills from a Verizon Website or at one of the more than 3,000 financial institution Web sites powered by Fiserv's industry leading electronic billing and payment services.
The agreement allows Verizon to continue to offer its more than 100 million wireless and landline customers the ability to receive and view an electronic version of their bill, known as an e-bill. E-bills are environmentally friendly representations of paper bills that, upon a customer's request, are securely delivered directly to a financial institution's or billing company's Website.
"Whether at Verizon.com or one of the eligible financial sites, Verizon is committed to making viewing and paying bills online as convenient, secure and easy as possible for our customers," said Angeline DePauw, director of Bill Processing for Verizon. "Over the years, we have worked diligently with CheckFree and now Fiserv to simplify the management of our electronic billing and payment capabilities, and to make it possible to increase the convenience of this environmentally friendly practice among many customers."
The relationship between Verizon and CheckFree began in 1999 and has continually enabled Verizon to service customers at many touch points ranging from financial institution sites, to the more than 11,000 retail locations now offering CheckFreePay walk-in bill payments, and via phone, leveraging interactive voice response (IVR) technology.
A testament to its commitment to innovation, Verizon has worked with Fiserv to lead the charge on several initiatives aimed at driving e-bill adoption. One of the best examples of their commitment in this area occurred when Verizon implemented Fiserv's award-winning consumer choice "trial" concept.
This program gives customers the ability to sample both a paper version and an electronic version of their bill for three months, providing the opportunity to opt out of receiving paper statements at any point during the trial. The results have been extremely encouraging with more than 75 percent of Verizon customers who participate in the trial opting to switch to paperless billing either immediately or at some poioint during the period.
Working in conjunction with Fiserv, Verizon Wireless was also one of the first billing organizations to aggressively seek out co-marketing agreements with several large national banks in an effort to spur e-bill adoption. Today Verizon Wireless offers more than 70 million customers the ability to receive e-bills via their bank site, and has had tremendous success in encouraging additional online payees with a 20-30% increase in e-bill activation requests.
"For almost 10 years, Verizon has led the way in offering customers a choice in where they can view and pay their bills, and has been a pioneer in paper suppression initiatives," said Michelle Flint, vice president and general manager, Fiserv e-bill Business Division, Depository Institutions Services. "We remain committed to working with Verizon to educate consumers about the benefits of receiving bills electronically. Together, our two companies can help to reduce greenhouse gases and save millions of trees a year."