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Fiserv study finds bill pay increases loyalty.

The more bills a consumer pays online, the less likely he or she is to leave the financial institution hosting that service, according to a recent Aspen Analytics study of online bill payment among 10 million customers of a top 10 U.S. bank.

The study, sponsored by Fiserv's CheckFree e-commerce operation, found that customers who paid bills online were 76% less likely to churn than average bank customers.

Heavy users of online bill pay services, meanwhile, were 95% less likely to leave, according to the study, which analyzed transactions conducted during a 16-month period in 2007 and 2008, according to Fiserv.

Online bill payers also were 15% to 20% more profitable than those who did not use the service, the study found.

The Aspen Analytics researchers also found that declining online payment activity can serve as a warning that a customer may move to another institution, providing an opportunity to take preventative action.

"The Fiserv and Aspen Analytics Study is the most comprehensive of its kind to date and again proves that online bill payments create a much deeper and more profitable relationship between the household and the bank or credit union offering these services," said Kirk Gripenstraw, senior director of analytics for Aspen Analytics.

"Consumers get hooked on the convenience of these services and don't want to go through the time-consuming transition of accounts and bill payment transactions that would result from moving to another bank or credit union. By mining transactional data to identify those customers whose bill-pay activity is declining, financial institutions can identify those most at risk of leaving and use this window of opportunity to try to prevent customer churn from occurring," Gripenstraw said.

A research brief on the study conducted by Atlanta-based Aspen Analytics, a division of Aspen Marketing Services of West Chicago, Ill., is available at www.
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Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Apr 22, 2009
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