Wells Fargo, which last month came top
in a major survey of US websites (see RBI 616), has added
to its award-winning range of electronic banking tools with a
online bill pay feature.

The service allows customers to make
‘just in time’ online bill payments to merchants, such as utility,
auto finance and mortgage companies, helping them avoid missing
payments or making late payments. Currently Wells Fargo offers same-day payment options for a fee
with a select group of 460 payees; additional payees continue to be
added on an ongoing basis. Wells Fargo
teamed up with Western Union for the service.

At the start of August, Javelin Strategy &
Research published a report which concluded that more Americans are
now paying bills at bank websites than at biller-direct portals,
with the ‘big four’ of Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and
Wells Fargo taking the lion’s share of business.

Javelin, which surveyed 2,779 online
households, said seven in 10 now pay bills via the internet
monthly, up from 64 percent in 2008. Bank of America, Citi,
JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have taken advantage of this, with
nearly six out of 10 of their customers paying a bill online
through their sites in the previous 30 days.