Electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP)

An electronic alternative to traditional bill payment, allowing a merchant or utility to present its customers with an electronic bill and the payer to pay the bill electronically. EBPP systems usually fall within two models: direct and consolidation-aggregation. In the direct model, the merchant or utility generates an electronic version of the consumer’s billing information, and notifies the consumer of a pending bill, generally via e-mail. The consumer can initiate payment of the electronically presented bill using a variety of payment mechanisms, typically a credit card. In the consolidation-aggregation model, the consumer’s bills are consolidated by a consolidator acting on behalf of merchants and utilities (or aggregated on behalf of the consumer), combining data from multiple bills and presenting a single source for the consumer to initiate payment. Some consolidators present bills at their own web sites, typically most support the aggregation of bills by consumer service providers such an Internet portals, financial institutions, and brokerage web sites.