July 13, 2001

After a period of sluggish growth, electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) is poised for accelerated expansion as more financialservices institutions get into the game, according to a report by TowerGroup. Commercial banks, credit unions and other financial institutions may soon give non-bank competitors a run for their virtual money.

"Banks and credit unions are well positioned to encourage both biller and payer adoption, while creating a significant transition in billing practices as they convert their own bills and statement to electronic formats," according to Beth Robertson, senior analyst in TowerGroup's e-Banking research service.

TowerGroup projects that roundtrip electronic bill volume (bills or invoices both delivered and paid electronically) will equal less than 1% of total bill volume in 2001. However, this share is expected to increase to 9% by 2005.

Only 1% of U.S. depository institutions offer some form of electronic bill presentment service, but that number is expected to rise to 7% by 2005. The growth will be powered by large institutions investing an annual average of 20% to 25% of total IT expenditures on electronic billing initiatives.

More than 90% of the institutions now involved in EBPP offer a consumer service provider capability to provide their retail customers with front-end services to receive and pay bills electronically.

http://www.banktech.com

2001 CMP Media LLC. 7/1/01, Issue # 3807, page 12.