AOL Aims To Muscle In On Electronic Bill Pay

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Credit unions trying to determine how to price electronic bill payment and presentment will be feeling the heat now that America Online Inc. has teamed up with Yodlee Inc. to offer all AOL members free bill pay and presentment.

With 33-million subscribers, AOL said it expects a majority of those members to sign up for the service, since 60% of AOL users report paying some bills online already, the Internet service said.

AOL said it is entering the market as an aggregator in that it only will be able to facilitate payments to billers that can receive them electronically, and the AOL offering will actually link users directly to biller sites.

Members who opt for the service receive an e-mail alert of a bill, after which they can click on a link at AOL's site that takes them to a window at the biller's site. Bills will show up as a green envelope icon with a banner identifying it as an AOL bill pay message.

The new service is a special edition of Yodlee's bill aggregation product known as BillDirect. Yodlee is one of the top providers of similar software applications to many financial institutions.

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