America First Rolls Out Online Business Bill Pay Service

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America First Credit Union, the largest CU in Utah, has introduced an online business bill pay service.

Businesses can pay multiple authorized invoices to vendors with a single check, set up multiple authorized users with controlled security levels and make payments of up to $50,000. Business bill pay is free for the first month, then $9.95 per month for up to 15 payments. Each payment over 15 is $1 each, a credit union spokeswoman said.

Joanna Kellerstrass, America First's business account services manager, said the credit union has 13,500 business members among its 383,000 total. She said the CU has offered bill pay on the personal side for a while, and has received "lots of requests over the years" for a business version.

"This is a long time in the making. It is a new program with the ability to pay multiple invoices and customize security. Businesses quite like it," she said.

Membership in the $3.2-billion America First CU is open to anyone who lives in Salt Lake County, or has an immediate family member who is eligible to join. In addition, if any member is an equity owner of a business, or if the business is located in the county, the business is eligible for the bill pay service, Kellerstrass said.

A Soft Launch

The business bill pay program soft launched in the beginning of January. Kellerstrass said America First has not yet begun a promotional effort. The credit union has informed active personal bill pay users who sign up their businesses, and a media release was issued Jan. 24.

"We are a small department of a large organization," she explained. "We wanted to start safe. We have not trained all the branches. Once we get the bugs out, we probably will do a marketing campaign later in the first quarter -depending on what the marketing department decides."

Early reaction to the business bill pay service has been very positive, Kellerstrass said. However, some members have expressed surprise at the cost.

"Business bill pay costs us a lot more than personal bill pay, so we have to charge. The $1 per payment over 15 is our cost for that part."

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