Dramatic Shift in Segment Sizes Since Last Survey - "Paper Pushers" Decline by
58 Percent and "Maximizers" Increase by 85 Percent, Now Represent 25 Percent
of Online Consumers
ATLANTA, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CheckFree Corporation
(Nasdaq: CKFR) today announced the results of a 2006 survey by Lieberman
Research Worldwide on consumer bill payment behaviors.
The survey, a follow-up to a study announced in 2004 that first introduced
Americans to six segments of bill-payer personalities, found that consumers
today are more trusting of the Internet, particularly when it comes to
financial management, and that there has been a significant, positive shift in
several of the bill payment behavioral categories. The survey was conducted by
Lieberman Research Worldwide, a Los Angeles-based firm that specializes in
consumer segmentation research.
Online is Safer than Paper: Facts Quell Initial Fears
Thanks to a greater awareness of identity theft and prevention measures,
the 2006 survey revealed that Americans are less concerned about online
security today than in 2004, and trust electronic billing and payment systems.
* The number of respondents that indicated they do not trust the Internet
with the security of their financial information declined by 60 percent:
from 20 percent in 2004 to just eight percent in 2006.
* Thirty-seven percent of 2006 respondents indicated they agreed that
paying bills online is safer than paying them by mailing a paper check,
as opposed to just 24 percent in 2004. This is an increase of more than
"When Javelin first started reporting the security benefits of online
transactions in 2005, many people saw it as counter-intuitive. However, it has
been shown that 90 percent of known-cause identity fraud happens through
offline channels," said James Van Dyke, founder and principal analyst, Javelin
Strategy & Research. "It's rewarding to see that consumers now understand that
using an electronic billing and payment program is not only safe, but is one
of the best things they can do to help protect themselves from identity
Consumers' growing trust in the Internet has contributed to a significant
increase in electronic billing and payment adoption. Since 2004, the number of
consumers using CheckFree's electronic billing and payment services has
increased by 32 percent annually.
Maximizers Increase, While Paranoid Paper Pushers Shrink
Since the last CheckFree-Lieberman survey in 2004, there have been
substantive shifts in the size of the personality segments. The most notable
changes occurred among Maximizers and Paranoid Paper Pushers, which could be
considered opposite sides of the same coin among the six bill payment
* Maximizers, the strategic, money-minded and financially organized group
that embraces paying bills online, grew by more than 85 percent since
2004. This segment, which is 57 percent male, is one of the mostly
likely groups to adopt an electronic billing and payment program, and
includes those consumers expected to be early adopters of paperless
bills. Maximizers were the largest of the bill-paying segments, with 25
percent of survey respondents in this category.
* Paranoid Paper Pushers, careful planners who prefer familiar, paper-
based financial management historically expressed fear of the Internet.
They have been the least likely group to pay bills online. Since 2004,
paper pushers decreased by 58 percent, dropping from an estimated 22
percent of online consumers in the U.S. in 2004 to 9 percent in 2006,
making them the smallest of the six consumer segments studied.
Why the dramatic shifts? Researchers from Lieberman and CheckFree cite a
reported 40 percent increase in the adoption of broadband Internet
connectivity, which facilitates faster online financial activities.
Additionally, more people are spending more time online -- 88 percent of the
online population reports spending more than five hours per week online, with
those who spend less than five hours online decreasing 54 percent since 2004.
With heavier Internet use and online tenure comes more experience and,
subsequently, greater confidence in both the Internet and security of its
applications and services.
"The survey demonstrates that receiving and paying bills online is no
longer the wave of the future, but has moved into the mainstream as the safe,
convenient way for consumers to manage their finances," says Matt Lewis,
executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree's Electronic
Commerce Division. "The shift in segment sizes of the Maximizer and Paranoid
Paper Pusher groups revealed in this survey is impressive. The group that is
the least likely to enroll in an online billing and payment service --
Paranoid Paper Pushers -- declined drastically. Combine this study data with
the results of a separate survey announced in May 2006, which revealed that 69
percent of consumers have paid at least one bill online, and online bill
payment is almost even with paper checks for bill payment."
The Bill-Paying Segments Defined
The Lieberman survey of more than 1,200 online consumers, sponsored by
CheckFree, is representative of the approximately 77 million online consumer
households in the United States (EBPP Forecast 2005 to 2010, Forrester,
October 2005). The 2006 CheckFree-Lieberman survey has a margin of error of
plus or minus three percent.
Participants in the CheckFree-Lieberman study either have primary
responsibility for paying their household bills or share that responsibility.
The attitudinal survey found that most Americans fit into one of the following
six bill payment categories:
* e-Savvy Planners enjoy trying the latest technology products and
services and are willing to spend money on tools that make managing
their finances easier. They tend to be organized, are usually among the
first to test-drive or own the latest gadgets, and are often asked for
technology advice by friends and family. They appreciate the speed,
control and ease-of-use that electronic billing and payment offers.
Sixty-two percent of e-Savvy Planners pay at least one bill at their
bank or credit union's website each month -- a 51 percent increase since
the 2004 CheckFree-Lieberman survey. This group is the second-largest of
the consumer financial segments, making up about 20 percent of the adult
* Maximizers - the largest (25 percent) of the six bill-paying segments --
manage their money strategically and actively seek rewards such as
frequent flyer points. They value financial organization and consider
paperless e-bills to be helpful tools for budgeting. They particularly
appreciate how electronic billing and payment helps in scheduling
payments, and that all their bills can be paid in one step. They also
feel that the service is safer than paper. The survey found that 54
percent of Maximizers pay at least one bill online each month, a 38
percent increase since the last survey.
* Convenience Seekers like being organized and are always on the lookout
for tools that are "quick and easy" and help them improve organization.
This third-largest group (18 percent of survey respondents) also likes
paying all bills at a single website, such as their bank's online
banking portal. Convenience Seekers enjoy the many benefits of
electronic billing and payment, especially its speed of payment and
improved controls over the timing and amount of payments. Forty-eight
percent of Convenience Seekers reported paying at least one bill online,
versus 25 percent in the last survey, a 92 percent increase in
electronic billing and payment adoption.
* Self-Improvers find financial management to be stressful and time
consuming, but they are actively seeking to gain control of their
finances. This segment -- approximately 13 percent of surveyed consumers
-- often struggle to manage their budgets, sometimes forgetting to pay
their bills or skipping payments in order to use the money for other
things. They are in search of an organizational system that gives them
increased control and makes managing finances easier, such as electronic
billing and payment. This consumer segment tends to be slightly younger
than most other segments, and includes more women (57 percent) than men
(43 percent). Self-Improvers' adoption of electronic billing and payment
increased more than any other consumer segment since the last survey.
Forty-three percent reported paying at least one bill online, versus
just 13 percent in the 2004 survey results, a 231 percent increase in
electronic billing and payment adoption.
* Desperate Avoiders are generally stressed about their finances and can
be overwhelmed by their debts. This group -- approximately 15 percent of
survey respondents -- typically find monthly bill payment to be a chore,
have trouble keeping track of finances, and may avoid opening bills or
delay paying them altogether. Like Self-Improvers, Desperate Avoiders
tend to be younger, but are almost evenly split between men (51 percent)
and women (49 percent). Despite their financial struggles, this group is
also beginning to embrace paying bills online as a way to help gain
control of their finances. Forty-four percent reported paying at least
one bill online, versus just 17 percent in the previous survey, a 159
percent increase in electronic billing and payment adoption.
* Paranoid Paper Pushers -- the smallest of the bill-paying groups studied
-- are distrustful of the Internet in general and incorrectly believe
they are safer receiving bills and sending checks by mail. They are very
careful with their finances and may have developed a comprehensive
manual financial management system that they've been using for years.
This less tech-savvy group tends to be somewhat older than other
segments. Just 22 percent of the Paranoid Paper Pushers reported paying
a bill(s) online, but that was a 144 percent jump from the previous
survey. This segment shrunk 22 percent to just 9 percent - one of the
more dramatic shifts since the last survey.
What's Your Type?
Consumers who want to learn more about electronic billing and payment can
visit www.ebillplace.com, the first virtual neighborhood that helps consumers
to discover their bill payment personalities and shows them how easy it is to
receive and pay bills online. This educational website is a fun, interactive
way for consumers to learn about the benefits of electronic billing and
payment, review a list of financial institutions and portals that offer the
service, learn about which companies can send bills and receive payments
electronically, and review a list of items they will need to enroll in an
electronic billing and payment service.
Are you a Desperate Avoider, Self-Improver, Paranoid Paper Pusher,
Maximizer, Convenience Seeker or an e-Savvy Planner? Consumers who visit
www.ebillplace can also take the Bill Payment Personality Quiz and determine
which of the six bill payment personalities aligns with their own preferences.
To learn more about the characteristics of the six categories of bill
payers or speak with CheckFree about the survey or ebillplace, please contact
Chuck Kabat or Julie Goldman at 781-684-0770 or email@example.com.
About CheckFree (www.checkfreecorp.com)
Founded in 1981, CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR) provides financial
electronic commerce services and products to organizations around the world.
CheckFree Electronic Commerce solutions enable thousands of financial services
providers and billers to offer the convenience of receiving and paying
household bills online, via phone or in person through retail outlets.
CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management
solutions and outsourced services to hundreds of financial services
organizations, which manage about $1.5 trillion in assets. CheckFree Software
develops, markets and supports payment processing solutions that are used by
financial institutions to process more than two-thirds of the 14 billion
Automated Clearing House transactions in the United States, and supports
reconciliation, exception management, risk management, transaction process
management, corporate actions processing, and compliance within thousands of
Certain of the Company's statements in this press release are not purely
historical, and as such are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements
regarding management's intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations or projections
of the future. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties,
including without limitation, the various risks inherent in the Company's
business, and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the
Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30,
2006 (filed September 8, 2006). One or more of these factors have affected,
and could in the future affect the Company's business and financial results in
future periods, and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans
and projections. There can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements
made in this press release will prove to be accurate, and issuance of such
forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by the
Company, or any other person, that the objectives and plans of the Company
will be achieved. All forward-looking statements made in this press release
are based on information presently available to management, and the Company
assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE CheckFree Corporation
CONTACT: Media relations, Judy DeRango Wicks, +1-678-375-1595,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Investor relations, Tina Moore, +1-678-375-1278 or
email@example.com, both of CheckFree Corporation/
/Web site: http://www.checkfreecorp.com