Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), today announced that Progress Energy is extending the use of eBill Distribution to the electric utility's Florida region. The agreement with Progress Energy is an expansion of the existing relationship between Fiserv and the Fortune 500 energy company which serves customers in the Carolinas and Florida. Fiserv already provides eBill Distribution to Progress Energy customers in the Carolinas, as well as walk-in bill payment services in all three states. Now, Progress Energy customers in the Carolinas and Florida can receive their Progress Energy bill at any of the more than 3,000 financial institution websites in the Fiserv network. According to financial industry analyst firm Javelin Strategy & Research, banks and credit unions represent the fastest-growing channel for viewing and paying bills online.
eBill Distribution from Fiserv enables companies like Progress Energy to offer paperless electronic bills, commonly known as e-bills. E-bills replicate the same information as the traditional paper bill, but are securely delivered to a financial institution or billing company Website instead of a physical mailbox. Customers who receive e-bills can schedule a specific date on which their bill will be paid and take advantage of features such as email reminders.
By eliminating the mailed statement, consumers can take a small, simple step toward the reduction of paper use, thereby preserving the environment. According to a 2009 Fiserv-sponsored study conducted by The Marketing Workshop and Harris Interactive, 58 percent of consumers cite the protection of the environment as a key reason to receive e-bills and turn off the corresponding paper bill.
According to the same study, 41 percent of current online banking users indicated plans to pay more bills online at their financial institution's Web site in the coming months. Progress Energy's commitment to paperless billing can allow the company to capitalize on this trend and provide customers additional billing options. As a testament to this commitment, Progress Energy Carolinas recently collaborated with Fiserv to educate consumers to turn off their paper bills and begin receiving e-bills through their financial institution. This campaign resulted in a 206 percent e-bill adoption rate increase, and encouraged Progress Energy to extend the bank channel e-bill delivery option to its Florida customers.
"Progress Energy is at the forefront of meeting its customers at their point of preference when it comes to viewing and paying bills, and Fiserv is proud to be a partner," said Jardon Bouska, president, Biller Solutions, Fiserv. "Whether it is educating consumers about the benefits of e-bills and serving them through the bank channel or providing access to convenient retail and agent locations for walk-in based payments, we will continue to help Progress Energy leverage billing and payment touch points and ensure positive customer interactions."
Since 2000, Fiserv and Progress Energy together have delivered valuable billing and payment options for Progress Energy customers. In addition to powering Progress Energy's electronic billing and payment channels, Fiserv makes available to all Progress Energy customers the ability to pay bills in-person at more than 16,000 retail agent sites, such as convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores, and retail shipping and postal stores.
Fiserv offers a robust portfolio for optimizing bill pay touch points to maximize profitability, including electronic and paper bill production and distribution, on-demand and recurring bill payment (via agent, web, IVR and walk-in channels) as well as e-lockbox and remittance processing.
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