Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced the company has doubled the number of bills that consumers can pay using the CheckFreePay NextDay walk-in bill payment service, which ensures next business day payment delivery.
This is the second time in less than a year that Fiserv has doubled the number of bills available for NextDay payment, bringing the total number of bills available for this payment option to more than 600. The expansion accommodates America's sizeable population of cash-preferred consumers and their increased demand for faster, in-person bill payment processing.
Underbanked consumers, those who use few traditional banking services, rely heavily on cash as a form of payment. According to a March 2009 report from industry analyst firm Javelin Strategy & Research, credit card spending continues to decline, with 20 percent fewer consumers indicating recent credit card usage in 2008 compared to 2007. In fact, only 64 percent of consumers indicated they used a credit card in the month preceding the survey, compared to 87 percent of consumers in 2007 - a 23 percentage point decline. These findings indicate that many consumers are seeking to curtail credit card usage in favor of other payment types, including cash.
"As the economy struggles, consumers struggle to manage their finances. Javelin's research revealed that more individuals are having difficulty putting funds into savings, and more individuals are having difficulty paying off credit card debt," said James Van Dyke, president and founder of Javelin Strategy & Research. "Underbanked consumers often hold onto their cash up to the last minute before making purchases or paying bills, making the walk-in bill payment channel an important bill payment option."
"In-person financial services provide a way for consumers to actively manage their financial lives, which is particularly important in the current economic climate," said Paul Harrison, senior vice president and general manager, Walk-In Solutions, Fiserv. "The CheckFreePay NextDay bill payment service allows consumers to hold onto their money longer, and is much less expensive than typical 'emergency' payment productsts."
Thhe CheckFreePay bill payment service from Fiserv enables consumers to walk in and pay common household expenses such as utility, mobile phone, insurance, auto and credit card bills via a nationwide retail agent network. Consumers typically pay using cash, and receive a receipt as proof of payment. Power, phone and cable bills are those most frequently paid using the CheckFreePay NextDay service. CheckFreePay also offers a same day payment option for select bills.