InsideOffice News Archives About Us Feedback

Recent Articles

Google Secrecy A Blessing And Curse
Other than the legally mandated SEC filings, only the very top of the Google leadership knows just how the company operates...

Office 2007 Beta: Later This Month
Jensen Harris drops the confirmation: Beta 2 (the public beta) of Office 2007 will hit later this month, joining the Windows Vista Beta 2, which is expected on May 22.

The Gulf Between Geeks and Advertisers
In addition to my suprising lunch with the food company execs, I found another thing that was very different: that advertising folks dress and talk very differently from geeks.

Blogging Connections: Real Life Meetings
Blogs are connection and relationship builders. We are all aware of the blog potential for creating and nurtuting online relationships.

Social Media Drives Greater Employee Engagement
Here's a terrific case study from Swedish/US communication consultants and training firm Gronstedt Group on the role social media plays in helping...

More Subscription Choices
There's no doubt that subscribing to someone's blog or website via RSS in order to automatically receive their content each time their site is updated is a convenient way to stay on top of the latest information.

Stars Of Blogging Come Out At PubCon
Mike McDonald sat in on WebmasterWorld's Pubcon Boston morning session today, featuring a trio of bloggers well-known to our search marketing and optimization audience.

MySpace For The Office
Nice piece from BusinessWeek's Steve Rosenbush today: MySpace For The Office.

Software Testing and Talking
I've spent a bit of time this weekend with software and servers. Quite a bit of time with release candidate 2 of version 2 of ecto for Windows, the offline blog manager...

Companies Blocking Employees from Reading RSS
I dream of a world without prejudice. Wars will be a distant memory. And organizations will trust their employees enough to let them subscribe to RSS feeds.

The Next Wave at Work
A report in the Financial Times on social media in the workplace highlights some terrific examples from companies who talk about the benefits to be gained from deploying blogs, wikis and RSS.

Employee Performance Reviews Dealing With...
What do you do when an employee disagrees with something you've written on their performance review?

06.01.06


Web Payments Could Surpass Checks Soon

By Alex Bard

By the end of this year, the number of bills paid online could surpass the number paid by checks. If you've got a credit or debit card, a computer and an Internet hookup, you're ready to go.

Why fill out the check? Then you have to find the bill and a stamp. If it's close to being a late payment, you have to hurry to the post office, mail it and pray it gets there on time so you can avoid the late fee.

But if you have an Internet connected computer, your bill paying is free, both monetarily and time wise.

According to a recent poll by Harris Interactive, a research firm, the gap between the number of bills paid by check and the number paid online has closed significantly in the past year. More than 37 percent of bills are paid by check; 35 percent are paid online. The remaining 28 percent are paid with cash, debit cards or other payment methods.

Last year, only 25 percent of bills were paid online and 46 percent paid by check.

Banks are now starting to aggressively market online checking, as are utility companies. It saves them personnel costs and gives the consumer a greater sense of control.

The caveat with these numbers is that the Harris poll was commissioned by CheckFree, which helps banks and billers build online bill presentment and payment services.

"The days when people see the U.S. mail as a safe and rational place to do our bills are numbered," said James Van Dyke, president of Javelin Strategy and Research, a consultancy based in Pleasanton, Calif.

According to Javelin, roughly half of all households with Internet access have paid bills at a biller's Web site; about 40 percent have paid bills through a bank or credit union site in the previous month. Analysts say consumers still greatly prefer to pay bills at the Web sites of their financial institutions, not just because customers trust banks and credit unions with their finances, but also because these Web sites can display and process multiple bills at once.

Learn More about our dedicated servers

Banks once charged for the use of online services because they weren't willing to pay what the companies that processed the information charged. This cost was passed on to the consumer.

According to Catherine Graeber, an analyst with Forrester Research, a technology consultancy, a bank's online bill payers are substantially more likely than their check-writing counterparts to rely on the bank for credit cards and other financial services, and they also call the bank less frequently, so they are less costly to serve. "Online bill pay does have a halo effect," Ms. Graeber said.

The New York Times says the technology has steadily improved, making it simpler to understand and use. Bank of America, which was the first to offer a free service, in 2002, and which claims to have the most online bill payers of any bank, with 7.7 million, has tweaked its system regularly in recent years.

According to Sanjay Gupta, Bank of America's e-commerce executive, users now typically enter nothing more than the company name and account number to sent payments, whereas in years past they were required to enter the company's full address, among other things.

Matthew Lewis, CheckFree's executive vice president, said the company had created new sources of revenue over the past year, crunching data for banks and helping them identify potentially fraudulent transactions. But he said CheckFree's core mission remained focused on consumers.
"Mainstream America is increasingly finding ways the Web can really improve their lives," Mr. Lewis said. "We want to make this more part of the way Americans live their lives."


About the Author:
Alex Bard is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

About InsideOffice
Expert advice for starting or growing your business plus valuable ideas on management techniques and business strategies. Your Personal Business Advisor.

InsideOffice is brought to you by:

WebProNews.com Jayde.com
MarketingNewz.com SalesNewz.com
CareerNewz.com InvestNewz.com
eCommNewz.com WebsiteNotes.com
AdvertisingDay.com ManagerNewz.com
SearchNewz.com CRMNewz.com

-- InsideOffice is an iEntry, Inc. publication --
iEntry, Inc. 2549 Richmond Rd. Lexington KY, 40509
2006 iEntry, Inc. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Legal

archives | advertising info | news headlines | free newsletters | comments/feedback | submit article


InsideOffice Home Page About Article Archive News Downloads WebProWorld Forums Jayde iEntry Advertise Contact WebProWorld Forum Your Personal Business Advisor