CheckFree, now part of Fiserv, Inc., a leading provider of information technology services to the financial industry, and PSCU Financial Services, the nation’s largest Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), has announced a partnership to show consumers how paying and receiving bills online can benefit the environment.
“More consumers are realizing that online bill payment is not only convenient, it also contributes to a healthier environment,” said Leslie Reistrup, director of eServices at PSCU Financial Services. “We believe that it is important to raise our credit unions’ awareness of the green advantages of online bill payment and e-bills.”
To celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day 2008, PSCU Financial Services and 18 participating credit unions, including Justice Federal Credit Union based in Chantilly, Va., and Andrews Federal Credit Union in Suitland, Md., are encouraging members to pay and receive their bills online in order to reduce paper consumption and contribute to a cleaner environment. The cooperative is equipping credit unions to reach out to their members through an e-mail campaign for online bill payment subscribers, as well as web banner advertisements for credit union web sites.
“We believe we can increase online bill payment activation and activity rates by publicizing the earth-friendly aspects of this service,” Karyn Metro, eServices manager, Justice Federal Credit Union, which serves employees of the U.S. Department of Justice. “Eliminating paper bills and checks reduces energy consumption and pollutants involved in these processes. Electronic methods of communication are not only earth-friendly, but they also offer added efficiency to our members.”
According to a 2007 green banking study by Javelin Strategy and Research, if all U.S. households viewed and paid bills on line, it would save 16.5 million trees each year. A single tree in one day can provide oxygen for up to four people and discharge up to 100 gallons of water from the ground into the air, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We plan to promote the eco-friendly aspects of paying and receiving bills online through web banners and emails,” said Jennifer Pace, eServices manager, Andrews Federal Credit Union. “We believe our members will welcome the ability to help the environment while simultaneously gaining the added convenience and time savings of online bill payment.” PSCU Financial Services offers PayLynx, an online bill payment platform powered by CheckFree that allows subscribers to control payments dates, receive email reminders and manage all payments at one central payment center. Members can register for the PayLynx electronic bill pay solution on their credit union’s website. By paying bills online rather than sending paper bills through the mail, consumers gain better security and control of their finances. Consumers can schedule payments on the date of their choosing and more easily monitor and manage account balances. They can also choose to receive their bills at their credit union’s website, through the e-Bill icons located in the payment center. Since identity fraud is more common offline than online, electronic bill pay can also help to reduce the risk of identity theft.
“We recently sponsored a survey in which more than half of American consumers responded that it was very important to them that receiving and paying bills online benefits the environment,” said Todd Lesher, executive vice president and general manager, CheckFree Electronic Banking Services. “CheckFree is committed to working with our banking and credit union partners to further educate the public about the positive impact that bill payment can have on the environment.” Fiserv is a member of the Pay It Greenâ¢ Alliance, the environmental initiative of NACHA, The Electronic Payments Association and comprised of 20 leaders in the financial and consumer billing industries. The Pay It Greenâ¢ Alliance focuses on educating consumers and businesses about the positive environmental impact of choosing electronic bills, statements and payments instead of paper. Consumers can learn more about the environmental impact their household can have by banking online by entering their information into the Pay It Green Alliance’s Green Calculator at http://payitgreen.org/green-calculator.html.
About PSCU Financial Services
Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, PSCU Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization (CUSO) and serves more than 1,100 financial institutions nationwide. As a non-profit cooperative, the company is owned by more than 500 member credit unions representing over 11 million cardholder accounts and more than 580,000 online bill payment subscribers. Its Contact Center handles more than 14 million inquiries a year. PSCU Financial Services maintains an Eastern operations center in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a Western operations center based in Phoenix, Arizona. The cooperative’s wholly owned subsidiary, Digital Dialogue, operates two 24/7 call centers in Detroit, Mich., that specialize in member services, new member acquisition, cross-selling and automated lending solutions. Established in 1977, the company provides a broad array of cost-effective, high quality financial services that include credit, debit, ATM, prepaid, bill payment and contact center solutions. PSCU Financial Services uniquely offers its members a full range of processing options, any combination from full service to in-house pass through processing for credit, debit and ATM transactions. As a leader in the credit union movement, the company offers gateway access to national and regional networks. It also provides full function ATM terminal driving services.
About Fiserv, Inc.
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a Fortune 500 company, provides information management and electronic commerce systems and services to the financial and insurance industries. Leading services include transaction processing, outsourcing, electronic bill payment and presentment, investment management solutions, business process outsourcing (BPO), software and systems solutions. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., the company is the leading provider of core processing solutions for U.S. banks, credit unions and thrifts. Fiserv was ranked the largest provider of information technology services to the financial services industry worldwide in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 FinTech 100 surveys. In 2007, the company completed the acquisition of CheckFree, a leading provider of electronic commerce services. Fiserv reported nearly $4 billion in total revenue from continuing operations for 2007.