In the battle to control the electronic bill presentment and payment market, the biller-direct model is emerging victorious over the consolidator model, according to research by TowerGroup. Currently, the biller-direct approach – where bills are viewed or paid directly at the Web site of billers like credit card companies or utilities – dominates electronic bill presentment. The consolidator model, the darling of bankers and online bill payment processors, which was once viewed as the inevitable direction of the market, has shown agonizingly slow growth in presenting bills, according to the research. TowerGroup claims that, in the absence of a commitment from many banks and other potential online bill consolidators, a large number of billers have pursued the biller-direct model as their sole strategy for the delivery of electronic bills. However, the banking sector will be pleased to hear that, although biller-direct delivery will continue to dominate during the next five years, TowerGroup believes the share of bills presented through consolidator sites will increase from just over 2 per cent in 2003 to 11 per cent by 2007, and will continue to climb thereafter.
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