Online Resources and Communications Corp. has launched a marketing campaign to encourage people to pay their bills on-line.

Electronic bill payment was supposed to be a "killer app" for home banking, generating significant transaction volumes and fees. But it has been a marketing struggle for many institutions.

Online Resources said only half the people using its remote banking software through the 150 banks offering it are paying bills on-line.

Using mail, in-branch, and telemarketing methods, Online Resources said it will promote electronic bill payment on behalf of its 315 financial institution customers, not all of which have rolled out the software.

Ron Bergamesca, senior vice president at Online Resources in McLean, Va., said a good marketing program can mean the difference between attracting 1% or 10% of a bank's customers to a bill payment service.

"An important part of success is how the banks focus," Mr. Bergamesca said. "I will be a source of resources and information for financial institutions so they can make more educated decisions."

Mr. Bergamesca recently joined Online Resources to spearhead its consumer marketing effort. He came from Cendant Corp., where he managed its direct marketing of the nation's largest credit card protection program.

Similar to promotions he ran at Cendant, Mr. Bergamesca said, he will offer home banking customers a premium to pay their bills on-line. He has yet to decide whether there might be cash rewards or prizes, such as disposable cameras.

The marketing program is scheduled to begin in March at several credit unions and become generally available in April.

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