CheckFree Puts Advertisements on Electronic Bills

You thought electronic bill presentation was just about saving paper and money? Think again.

Electronic payments service provider CheckFree‘s i-solutions group this week unveiled a new version of its service, which allows billers to put marketing messages on the bills they present to customers electronically.

Billers, who already have access to information about what their customers have purchased, can use that data to better target advertisements to that audience. The ads appear when customers look at their bill — and transaction detail — online.

“Our research indicates that the compelling reason for companies to implement electronic billing and payment solutions lie now only in significant cost savings, but also in the ability to leverage an electronic bill for interactive advertising and marketing campaigns,” said Avivah Litan, research director of GartnerGroup.

“This capability allows these billers to tap into new sources of revenues through more sales to existing customers.”

The service — called Market Direct 2.0 — lets billers simultaneously manage a number of unique, targeted campaigns. It also lets marketers integrate loyalty reward programs, which can be targeted based on information in the bill.

Southern Company, the largest generator of electricity in the US, signed on earlier this year to use the service.

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