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Gartner Says 45% of U.S. Adults Will Be Using E-Billing/Payment by 2005

Press release from the issuing company

Analysts Examine the Future of E-Payments During Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2002 LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.--Oct. 9, 2002--Consumer adoption of Internet-based billing and payment applications continues to increase, as 22 percent of the U.S. adult population will be using these applications by the end of 2002, up from 16 percent in 2001, according to Gartner Inc. At the end of 2005, the number of consumers using online account management and e-billing applications will have grown to 45 percent of the U.S. adult population. These findings were presented today during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2002, which is taking place Oct. 6 - Oct. 11 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "The overwhelming success has been in the credit card industry where Web-based applications offered by card issuers take the concept of monthly bill presentment to the next level - online account management," said Avivah Litan vice president and research director for Gartner. "Web-based applications enable timely and interactive communication of customer account data and, therefore, have much more value than old paper-based processes and batch delivery of static monthly bills." Credit-card issuers are the most savvy of marketers and the most advanced in customer service, and Gartner analysts said other consumer billing sectors have much to learn from them. "Applications in which consumers interact directly with billers have earned at least 20 times the adoption of the recent bill-consolidator model that requires consumers to change normal interaction patterns," Litan said. Gartner analysts said that consumers prefer viewing and paying their e-bills directly at biller Web sites rather than registering for a consolidated model at their bank's (or other service provider's) Web site, where they can only receive two or three of their major bills. Credit card issuers and telecommunications companies have been the most aggressive in developing e-billing Web sites and developing customer service functionality around them. Banks are the most trusted consumer service providers on the Internet when it comes to running an identity or e-wallet service. Consumers are distrustful of these services in general, no matter who runs them, and believe that their information is neither secure nor private in identity or e-wallet databases. "Consumers care much more about privacy and security than they do about the convenience features offered by identity services," said Litan. "Identity services are marketed to consumers on the premise that they eliminate the hassle of repetitive Web-site registrations. But compared with privacy and solicitation concerns, consumers do not find the registration process excessively annoying." Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the IT industry's largest and most strategic conference, providing business leaders with an insightful look at the future of IT. For more than 10,000 IT professionals from the world's leading enterprises, Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of their annual planning efforts. Attendees are responsible for more than $35 billion in IT spending for their respective companies. For more information about Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2002, please visit www.gartner.com/symposium or call 800/778-1997.

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