July 14, 2009

Fiserv Survey Shows Online Banking Growing, Now Used by Four of Five Online Households

Paperless e-bills also growing in popularity, with many citing environmental benefits

BROOKFIELD, Wis., Jul 14, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced that more than two million U.S. households adopted online banking and bill payment during the last year, according to a recent consumer survey. A total of 69.7 million households, representing four out of five households with Internet access, now use online banking services, primarily to access balance and account history and transfer money between accounts. In addition, 64.4 million households pay at least one bill online, either at a bank website or directly at a company website.

The Fiserv-sponsored survey - which reflects the habits of the 88.2 million households in the United States with Internet access - was conducted by The Marketing Workshop and Harris Interactive. Fiserv has conducted the Consumer Billing and Payment Trends survey since 2001.

"We believe that consumers will continue to conduct more and more of their financial activities online," said Geoff Knapp, vice president, Online Banking & Consumer Insights, Fiserv. "Online banking and bill payment is a free service, and a convenient and environmentally friendly way to bank. Consumers are actively becoming fans of the user-friendly, secure services financial institutions are implementing."

To view a video of Geoff Knapp discussing the most significant findings of the Consumer Billing and Payment Trends survey, visit www.fiserv.com/trends.htm.

With today's hectic lifestyles, consumers are looking for faster and easier ways to get things done, and it is estimated that people who pay their bills online save five hours a year compared to those that pay using checks. Of those surveyed, 41 percent of current online banking users indicated they planned to pay more bills online at their financial institution's website in the coming months, while 35 percent of those who pay bills directly at company websites said they planned to pay more bills online at those sites.

Benefits of Online Bill Payment

The survey examined the reasons people choose to pay bills online and determined that the leading benefits are:

  • Speed - 79 percent of consumers said that they preferred to pay bills online because it was faster than other payment methods.
  • Ease of Use - 72 percent of consumers said paying online was easier than paying by check.
  • Cost Savings - 71 percent of consumers said they liked saving money on stamps.
  • Control - 71 percent of consumers said that paying bills online gave them more control over the timing of their payments.

Environmental Concerns Drive Use of Paperless E-Bills

While any bill can be paid online, regardless of how it is received, a growing number of consumers are also adopting paperless electronic bills (e-bills). E-bills contain the same information as a typical paper bill, but are delivered directly to a consumer's online banking account or a company website. According to the survey, 24 percent of consumers who pay bills online also receive at least one bill online each month, up from 22 percent last year.

Fifty-eight percent of e-bill recipients said that environmental impact was either important or very important in their decision to view and pay bills online, up from 51 percent last year.

Consumers also cited convenience and clutter reduction as reasons to receive their bills online. Fifty seven percent of consumers said they had lost a paper bill in the mail, while 64 percent admitted to losing a paper bill in their own home - inconveniences that many indicated made them receptive to receiving paperless e-bills online.

Impact on Relationship with Financial Institution

According to the survey, consumers who pay bills online at a bank website are more likely to continue banking with their bank, as well as encourage others to join their bank.

  • 49 percent of consumers who use online bill pay said they are less likely to switch banks due to their experience, up from 43 percent last year.
  • 67 percent of online bill pay users would recommend their bank to a friend or relative.
  • Over a period of three months, 38 percent of online bill pay users recommended the service to others. Those recommending the service did so an average of two times.

Proving the power of a personal recommendation, the bank branch was cited as the most influential source of information leading to enrollment in online bill payment.

Impact on Relationship with Billing Company

Similarly, electronic billing and payment helps improve customer satisfaction and retention with the company from which the bill is received. Consumers receiving a bill electronically at their bank are 30 percent less likely to leave the company from which they receive the e-bill. Additionally, customers receiving an e-bill at the company's own website are 28 percent less likely to leave. Importantly, customers receiving e-bills via their bank continue to visit the company website--56 percent of them go to the biller's site six or more times annually. Billing organizations can thus reap the cost-savings and customer loyalty benefits of delivering e-bills to financial institution sites, while maintaining a strong branded relationship with the many bank e-bill customers who will continue visiting the company's own site.

The Consumer Billing and Payment Trends survey is an initiative of Consumer Insights from Fiserv. Consumer Insights is an example of Fiserv's customer and channel management core competency, and shares findings from primary studies on consumer behavior with Fiserv clients and industry experts.

About Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is the leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry, driving innovation that transforms experiences for financial institutions and their customers. Ranked No. 1 on the FinTech 100 survey of top technology partners to the financial services industry, Fiserv celebrates its 25th year in 2009. For more information, visit www.fiserv.com.

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SOURCE: Fiserv, Inc.

Media Relations:
Ann Cave
Senior Public Relations Manager
Electronic Banking Services
Fiserv, Inc.
678-375-4039
ann.cave@fiserv.com
or
Additional Fiserv Contact:
Lori Stafford-Thomas
Assistant Vice President
Corporate Communications
Fiserv, Inc.
262-879-5130
lori.stafford@fiserv.com

Copyright Business Wire 2009


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