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Direct Payment Campaign Expands Again

Saturday, April 1, 2000

Once again, the St. Louis Fed will partner with financial institutions and utility companies in the St. Louis area to increase participation in the Joint Utility Direct Payment Program, a campaign that encourages customers to use direct payment for their utility bills.

The Fed coordinates participation in the program and produces a standard enrollment form listing all participating utilities. Institutions can order these forms to distribute as inserts in their customers' monthly statements. Consumers using the single form can sign up to make direct payments to multiple utility companies. Last year, eight utility companies in Missouri and Illinois and nearly 30 financial institutions participated in the program. A total of 2,860 consumers registered for the service.

"Our direct payment program offers our customers great convenience and reduces our payment processing costs," says Steven T. Lux, assistant treasurer and manager of Treasury Technology Services at Ameren Corp. in St. Louis. "It's a service our customers have embraced enthusiastically."

In March, the Fed will begin approaching utility companies in Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis in hopes of expanding the program to the Branch cities. New enrollment forms for the St. Louis program will be available this summer.