Fiserv upgrades online bill payment services platform

Source: Fiserv

Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced that CheckFree RXP, the industry's leading online bill payment services platform, is being updated with features designed to increase consumer usage of online billing and payment.

The new features, which include a bill pay widget, a tool for managing fee-based payments, and enhanced electronic bill activation and storage are being deployed via "Feature Packs." Feature Pack updates are deployed centrally and enable the seamless implementation of new functions ensuring that the Fiserv network of financial institutions, billers and their customers have access to the most up-to-date online bill payment capabilities.

Bill Pay Widget
The bill pay widget makes it easy for consumers to schedule bill payments from the bank or credit union's online banking home page. The widget is a condensed display of key criteria, including the biller to be paid, the pay date and the amount, which allows a user to make a payment quickly to any biller they have previously paid. The widget can be integrated into any page within the online banking service, enabling consumers to schedule a payment through the widget directly rather than visiting a dedicated bill payment page. This prominent placement keeps bill payment "top of mind" for current users and exposes the service to potential new users.

"Fiserv primary research and our experience with some of the most innovative financial institutions in the industry indicate that one of the best ways to encourage consumers to change their behavior and try a new online service is to make it readily available and highly visible," said Erich Litch, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Services, Fiserv. "The average online banking user logs into their service 15 times per month. Integrating bill pay more seamlessly into the online banking home page makes it more easily accessible during these frequent visits, which can lead to increases in adoption, usage and on-time payments."

Clients of CheckFree RXP from Fiserv will be able to launch the bill pay widget in February 2010.

Overnight Check Payments and Fee-Based Service Management Javelin Strategy & Research forecasts that 43 million households will make an expedited payment in 2010, and 25 percent of these payments will be made through a financial institution.

The CheckFree RXP overnight check payment option meets a need for fast payment delivery to billers with which Fiserv does not have a direct electronic payment connection, such as a local insurance company or other small business. Consumers can select the overnight check option to quickly pay these billers, thereby avoiding late fees or interruption of service. Upon delivery of the payment a tracking number is sent to the consumer via email for his or her records.

Overnight check payments will incur a fee, which can be set by the financial institution. This fee may be significantly less expensive than a late fee and less damaging than the impact the consumer could incur if the payment did not arrive overnight.

In order to facilitate the management of various fee-based payments, such as overnight checks, a fee manager feature is being added to CheckFree RXP. Fee Manager allows a financial institution's customer base to be segmented into tiers, each of which can be assigned service pricing at a level appropriate to their relationship with the bank. For example, users may be charged a lower fee for an expedited payment if they maintain a premium account. This tier structure can simplify the use of variable fees for online payment services and will allow institutions to differentiate among account types.

E-Bill Activation and Extended Payment History According to the Consumer Billing and Payment Trends survey conducted by Fiserv each year, consumers who receive electronic bills (e-bills) at their financial institution website are more loyal to the institution and the biller from which they receive the bill, use more financial institution products and services and are more satisfied overall. In order to encourage the use of e-bills, CheckFree RXP from Fiserv now prompts consumers to sign up to receive an e-bill whenever they add a new biller.

"Experience has shown that e-bill usage is heavily influenced by the promotion of e-bills directly within the online bill payment service," said Litch. "When Fiserv promoted e-bill activation through the addition of a thumbnail image of bills in a previous Feature Pack, activations rose 30 percent. Enabling consumers to easily sign up for e-bills within the process of adding a new biller can remove some of the confusion and barriers to adoption and streamline the activations of e-bills."

In order to make the use of online billing and payment more convenient, users are also able to access 18 months of their payment history online beginning in October 2009.

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