Online Bill Payment: A Survey of Banks

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23 April 2004

Abstract

New York, NY, USA April 23, 2004

Online Bill Payments: A Survey of Banks

Celent reveals that 81% of the top U.S. banks feel pressure to reduce their online bill payment processing costs. However, full-service processors will continue to run the show.

In a new report, "Online Bill Payments: A Survey of Banks," Celent examines banks approaches to online consumer bill payment. Based on a survey of 21 banks, 20 of whom rank among the top 50 banks by assets in the U.S., Celent scrutinizes the future of the service among mid-size and large banks.

Among its key findings, the report shows that, though free bill pay is paying off, banks face considerable pressures to push their costs down, starting with the fees charged by third-party processors. Thirty-three percent of the banks surveyed by Celent are planning to switch processors in the next 12-18 months, while an additional 19% are evaluating the option. 48% of banks have no plans to change processors.

Though Celent anticipates that during each of the next three years 1-2 medium to large banks will interrupt or diminish their relationships with the full-service processors, the majority of the top 50 banks by assets will remain loyal to the full-service processors like Checkfree, Metavante, and Princeton eCom. "The lack of drive at Mastercard RPPS to take on the job of the full-service outsourcers will remain the best chance of survival for Checkfree, Metavante, and eCom" comments Gwenn Bézard, a senior analyst at Celent and author of the report.

Among other findings, the report reveals that banks have not given up on generating fee income with online banking: U.S. banks are jumping on the bandwagon of account-to-account transfers (A2A), with 48% of Celents panel planning to offer A2A in the next 12-18 months, compared with 14% who already offer it, and 64% either already charging or planning to charge for it. "Celents 2002 prediction that banks would embrace A2A is now turning into reality," says Bézard.

The 31-page report contains 27 figures and 1 table.

A is available online.

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