Ron Onrust referred me to an article in the New York Times that highlighted how US Banks try to convince consumers to start paying bills online (for example by offering amounts such as $ 150 to obtain the customer's direct debit authorisation for bill payment).
More info on bill payment can be found at Comscore. Their research showed that:
- online bill payment users were more than twice as likely to remain active online banking customers compared to non-bill payment users,
- online users of online bill payment services hold an average account balance of approximately $4,800, which is double the $2,400 balance carried by the average online banking customer.
Is the same true for the Netherlands? That remains to be seen. In an article in E-merce it becomes clear that Privver, currently the only Dutch bill consolidator, has lost NUON (utilities customer) as the business customer in their system. So it may be the case that on-line bill payment (using direct debits) is a great driver in the US, where it is not in the Netherlands.