Asia Financial Network (AFN), iMerchants' application service provider arm, expects Hong Kong consumers to swiftly adapt to paying consolidated bills online with the advent on its plan to provide wireless access. 'We expect Hong Kong to have a very high adoption rate because almost everybody here has a cellphone,' AFN chief technology officer Edward Un said. 'The technologies and standards are already here to put that plan into action.' He helped establish industry standards for the electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) services in the United States. The scheduled launch later this year of EBPP services by the 51 banks forming the Joint Electronic Teller Service (Jetco) should provide the critical mass of consumers and billers to use the online display and payment of bills. EBPP services consolidate bills sent to customers by numerous billers - including utility firms and other service companies - and allow the bills to be paid online. Research firm International Data Corp has forecast global revenues from EBPP services to grow at 99.7 per cent annually from last year to 2004. Earlier this year, iMerchants and Jetco set up a joint venture to provide Asia's largest scale e-commerce platform for banks. Since 1998, iMerchants - which includes Pacific Century Cyber- Works and Reuters as investors - began offering electronic statement presentment technologies for various corporate clients, including SmarTone and CLP Power. US-based Jupiter Research has noted that the combined potential of EBPP and online banking provides Internet-focused financial institutions - and the technology vendors who serve them - with the opportunity to reduce servicing costs and expand existing relationships. Mr Un said AFN would provide various online financial-management services, not only to Hong Kong, but also to other services networks in Asia.