10 Steps to Encourage Bill Pay Usage

How can you increase bill pay usage at your credit union? This article details 10 action items to help members and credit unions with this technology.


Below are 10 steps credit unions can take to encourage more active use of their online bill payment by members. A survey of almost 15,000 members at twelve credit unions showed a wide variety of reasons for not using the service. The most important recommendation of all then, is to understand what your members’ objections are.  While security and speed of payments were the two most frequently mentioned reasons for not using bill pay in aggregate, your credit union’s unique member demographics or the way you currently explain the service may be more important in influencing future adoption. So, talk to your members to find out which of the recommendations below will drive the biggest change in member habits.



  1. Do your members really understand it’s free? A Forrester study found that “quitters” often stopped using bill pay because they didn’t want to pay for it.
  2. Train your front line and encourage them to use the services. They can’t sell what they don’t know!
  3. Put security front and center—make sure users can easily find the information and that it’s written in ways they can understand.



  5. Focus on activation, not just enrollment. Provide financial incentives to use, not just sign up. Routinely send follow-up reminders.
  6. Gradually ease users up the service change to fee-based services like expedited payments.
  7. Provide recurring training or online demos for setting up billers.



  9. Start with the basics to avoid scaring new adopters with fancy bells and whistles. The primary goal for your newest enrollees should be to build their confidence in the service’s reliability and ease of use.
  10. Offer e-checking accounts that encourage use of online channels.
  11. Make payment timing transparent—if not same day, offer alerts to notify users of payments and new bills.
  12. Consider offering online tools to help consumers port their bill pay information from another financial institution, for example, Yodlee’s BillPay Account Accelerator.