The Clearing House and Nacha team on e-billing information delivery service

Source: Nacha

Nacha - The Electronic Payments Association announced today that it is partnering with The Clearing House to bring the Electronic Billing Information Delivery Service (EBIDS), an Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network bill presentment and payment solution, to market.

EBIDS has been a NACHA pilot program since 2008, operated by the Federal Reserve Banks.

EBIDS expands the capabilities of the ACH by enabling businesses to leverage its efficient, reliable infrastructure to deliver electronic bills to consumer online banking accounts. Specifically, EBIDS extends the eBill distribution model by incorporating a distinctive, centralized biller directory and providing:
•    Ubiquitous connections to financial institutions through the ACH Network
•    Efficient standardization for electronic bill presentment via NACHA rules oversight
•    Security features provided by financial institutions' online banking processes

"EBIDS is a unique offering that leverages the strengths of the ACH Network -- ubiquity, efficiency, and the ability to carry information in addition to payment," said Janet O. Estep, NACHA's president and CEO. "As EBIDS transitions into production, the partnership with The Clearing House will enable financial institutions nationwide to offer electronic bill presentment to their customers."

The goal of NACHA's EBIDS pilot program was to demonstrate the ability of the ACH Network to support electronic billing (e.g., enrollment, bill presentment, enrollment maintenance), as well as bill payment. In the pilot, Verizon worked with J.P. Morgan to deliver eBills to customers at Wells Fargo and Dollar Bank.

"Consumers are aggressively migrating to online banking and financial management solutions," said Russ Waterhouse, executive vice president, product development at The Clearing House. "As an ACH operator, we are in a unique position to provide financial institutions and their customers with a standardized, ubiquitous electronic bill presentment and payment solution."

Studies show consumers are increasingly migrating to online bill payment and presentment and specifically seeking a consolidated electronic solution -- like EBIDS -- to access their bills from a single location. According to a 2009 Javelin Strategy & Research study, 70 percent of online households pay bills via the Internet every month, while only 38 percent have viewed an eBill at a bank or consolidator site, thus reiterating the growth opportunity that exists for online bill presentment. Moreover, Javelin's 2010 Green Billing Report finds that nearly half of consumers would be motivated to switch to online billing if there was a single online site that consolidated statements.

"The Federal Reserve Banks are encouraged by the results of the EBIDS pilot program," said Jim McKee, senior vice president, Federal Reserve Bank Retail Payments Office. "As EBIDS transitions into a commercial service, we hope to see widespread participation from billers and financial institutions. We remain supportive of the EBIDS concept and will continue to explore how best to integrate EBIDS with our network and security infrastructure to ensure availability to all ACH network participants."

Biller adoption of EBIDS will be an ongoing area of emphasis as the technology transitions into full-scale production.

"Reducing the volume of paper bills is a strategic goal at Verizon," says Angeline DePauw, director, remittance processing, Verizon. "We believe EBIDS will help us achieve this goal while at the same time allowing us to expand our customer reach and reduce expenses and customer service calls."

Recognizing the potential of EBIDS to address market demands, several prominent banks have already committed to participating. EBIDS commercial service will be available to these institutions by early 2011.

"Consumers and businesses continue to look to technology solutions to facilitate online bill payment," said Pat Thelen, executive director, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services. "It's clear that EBIDS can play an important role in helping financial institutions meet the evolving needs of their clients. We have enjoyed working with The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Verizon during the pilot project and look forward to seeing EBIDS deployed in the marketplace."

"The EBIDS pilot was a success in that it demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of the platform," said Chris Huppert, a senior vice president in Wholesale Internet and Treasury Solutions Group of Wells Fargo & Company. "Now with the infrastructure that The Clearing House will bring, EBIDS is poised to significantly expand its reach and deliver benefits broadly to consumers, billers, and financial institutions."

"Between greater convenience for consumers and greater efficiency for corporate billers, EBIDS will offer significant benefits as billing and payment preferences migrate from paper to electronic format," said Aileen Gleason, product management executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "We look forward to working with The Clearing House as this service evolves from a pilot program to production."

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