USPS to End Online Bill-Payment Service

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The U.S. Postal Service plans to discontinue its electronic bill-payment service operated through CheckFree Corp., a provider of financial electronic-commerce services and products.

The eBillPay service, begun in April 2000, lets customers receive, view and pay bills electronically using the postal service's Web site.

In a filing Nov. 14 with the Postal Rate Commission, USPS president of product development Nicholas Barranca said the postal service had notified CheckFree that it would not renew its contract with the company when it expires next April.

The decision also terminates two other services provided as part of the USPS contract with CheckFree: USPS Send Money, an electronic money-transfer service, and USPS Pay@Delivery, which lets customers combine money transfers with delivery confirmation.

"We had expectations for a customer base as we launched this pilot program, but in the duration of running the program, more and more companies came on board as providers of similar services, so the customer base diminished and we realized that our resources would be better used elsewhere," said USPS spokeswoman Monica Suraci.

This is not the first electronic-commerce initiative in which the USPS has pulled the plug. Last year, the USPS said it would discontinue its Post Electronic Courier Service -- or PosteCS -- a global electronic document delivery service that let users securely send documents via the Internet.

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