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Third-Party Walk-In-Bill Payments in the United States

Abstract

New research by Mercator Advisory Group profiles nine bill payment processors

Boston, MA -- Walk-in bill payments provide an option for people who need to make payments but cannot or choose not to do so with an electronic means of payment or a check. Typically, these customers visit a retail location, kiosk, or biller's office to make a payment using cash. While other forms of payments are sometimes accepted, the most common form of payment is cash.

Mercator Advisory Group's new report, Third-Party Walk-In Bill Payments in the United States, focuses on payments made where the payer physically visits an agent location, such as a check casher, customer service desk in a grocery store, or kiosk to make a payment primarily by cash or check. It describes the market opportunity and the business model for walk-in bill payments and provides brief profiles of several major and emerging service providers.

The report covers third-party providers of these services. It does not include walk-in bill payments made directly at a biller's offices, money orders, online bill payments, or automatic bill payments. While this report notes where the major providers have significant overseas presence, it concentrates on the walk-in bill payment market in the United States.

"The future of walk-in bill payments is caught up in the tension between a number of conflicting trends," says Ben Jackson, senior analyst and author of the report. "Some of them seem to indicate that the business is likely to grow, while others would seem to indicate that walk-in bill payments will fade over time."

The report discusses these trends and covers possibilities and opportunities for financial institutions and other financial services companies.

Highlights of the research findings include:

  • The benefits of walk-in bill payments for billers and some states
  • The entities that offer walk-in bill payments
  • New delivery channels for third-party walk-in bill payments
  • A review of the business model for third-party bill payments
  • The regulations third-party processors are subject to, at both the federal and state level
  • The types of businesses dominating the market
  • One of the seven exhibits included in this report:

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This report contains 25 pages and seven exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Western Union, MoneyGram, TIO Networks, CheckFreePay, Softgate Systems, Fidelity Express, Epayworldwide, PreCash, Global Express, Fuze Network, PayNearMe, and ZipZap Inc.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group's Debit Advisory Service have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

The Walk-In Bill Payments Market Opportunity

  • Trends Influencing the Future Growth of Walk-In Bill Payments
  • The Bad News: Trends Working Against the Growth of Walk-In Bill-Payments
  • The Good News: Trends Working for Walk-In Bill Payment Growth

The Business Model for Walk-In Bill Payments

  • Walk-In Bill Third-Party Payments Are a Fee-for-Service Business
  • Walk-In Bill Payments Occur Through Three Primary Channels
  • Walk-In Bill-Payments Providers Must Follow a Lot of Rules

Profiles of Walk-In Bill-Payment Processors

  • Western Union
  • MoneyGram
  • TIO Networks
  • CheckFree Pay
  • Softgate Systems
  • Fidelity Express
  • Epayworldwide
  • PreCash
  • Global Express

New Market Entrants:

  • Fuze Network
  • PayNearMe
  • ZipZap Inc.

Evaluating the Walk-In Bill Payment Opportunity for Financial Institutions

Conclusion

  • End Notes

Figures and Tables

  • Figure 1: Estimates of the Third-Party Walk-In Bill Payment Market in the U.S., 2011
  • Figure 2: The Walk-In Bill-Payment Business Model: Fees Paid by Users
  • Figure 3: Biller-Covered Walk-In Bill Payments
  • Figure 4: Back-of-the-Envelope Estimate of Market Potential for Walk-In Bill-Pay in the U.S.
  • Table 1: The "Unbanked and Underbanked" Market
  • Table 2: Trends Influencing the Growth of Walk-In Bill Payments
  • Table 3: Major Third-Party Walk-In Bill-Pay Providers
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