WSJ: Banks use online bill payment in effort to lock in customers

Michele Higgins reports in today’s WSJ on the more aggressive marketing of online bill payment begun by banks and major billers.

Why is electronic bill payment becoming a mantra for so many businesses? Some of course hope to save on postage and other administrative costs. But it also reflects how badly companies want to hang onto customers right now. They know that once a customer has gone through all the trouble of setting up electronic bill payment, he or she is less likely to switch loyalties — 80% less likely in the banking industry, according to Bank of America. “It drives profitability,” says John Rosenfeld, e-commerce executive there.

According to the article, Bank of America, Chase and Citibank are now offering free online bill payment to many of their customers.

I just checked Wells Fargo and it looks like they’re now also offering free online bill payment if you maintain $5,000 in your account.

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