Stamford, Conn. (Sept. 18, 2003) -- More and more people are getting online instead of in line to pay their bills, according to a survey by research firm InsightExpress.

The percentage of consumers paying at least one of their bills online jumped to 57 percent in 2003, up from 17 percent in 2000, according to the poll of 500 online Americans.

However, among those surveyed who aren’t paying bills online, more than three out of four (76 percent) cited security concerns as a reason, and that number is unchanged from 2000, InsightExpress said. Other barriers cited to paying online include an unwillingness to pay associated fees (62 percent), the requirement to install or configure software (42 percent), and lack of recourse for any errors committed while paying bills online (42 percent).

The most common method for paying bills online is through a credit card provider's Web site (58 percent), followed by their primary banking institution's site (52 percent). More than three-quarters (77 percent) of online bill payers cited the ability to pay bills in less time as a benefit, while 74 percent cited the ability to make last minute payments. Fifty-eight percent cited a reduced need to visit the post office; 56 percent cited the cost savings associated with postage; 47 percent cited the ability to schedule payments in advance; and 41 percent cited centralized payment history and record keeping.

-- WebCPA staff

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