Electronic bill payment gains traction

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New York--Electronic bill payment, which accounted for just 0.25% of the $31.7 trillion in b-to-b payments in 2002, will grow to 3.6% of b-to-b payments in 2006, according to eMarketer Inc.

In its report "Electronic Payments: From Online Bill Payment to Credit Cards--Statistics, Strategies and Trends," released Thursday, eMarkter said electronic payment has been gaining traction because it reduces invoice processing costs and saves time.

EMarketer's figures do not include Automated Clearing House Network payments, which are electronic transfers conducted through a network of 12,000 financial institutions. That form of payment is also growing rapidly. B-to-b Automated Clearing House payments, which totaled $15.53 trillion in 2002, are expected to grow to $17.76 trillion in 2003, surpassing checks as a form of payment for the first time.

--Carol Krol

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