Recurring billers such as utilities are seeking alternatives to credit cards for customers who pay online, says Jeff Foster, executive vice president at Retail Decisions Inc., a Hazlet, N.J.-based provider of online transaction risk management and processing services. Some billers, he says, are dissatisfied with Visa USA's and MasterCard International's interchange and card-acceptance policies and are flocking to accounts receivable conversion, or ARC, an electronic consumer-to-biller payment that draws funds from the consumer's checking account. Some billers also are opting for PINless debit, an online payment that uses the consumer's PIN-debit card number without requiring PIN entry. It costs billers less to accept PINless debit or ARC payments than credit cards, Foster says.
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