Director of Research, Blueflame Consulting Ed Bachelder is the Director of Research at Blueflame Consulting, an economic analysis and energy regulatory consulting practice.Since joining in 2009, Ed has led 49 research studies on key issues facing financial service providers’ and billers’ ability to serve the needs of consumers, including the unbanked and underbanked households. He is a member of NACHA's Payments Innovation Alliance (formerly Council for Electronic Billing and Payment) and has conducted benchmarking studies on eBilling Adoption and Payment Exceptions.
Previously he was the Director of Research and Analytics at Dove Consulting, where over 24 years he led more than 230 consumer and business research studies examining customer needs and market opportunities for commercial, financial and government clients. As leader of Dove Consulting’s major research and analytical projects, Ed combined a passion for product/service design and advanced analytical tools with a deep knowledge of consumer preferences and behavior, pricing, bundling, availability, distribution channels and systems, volume forecasting, marketing and operations research to enable clients to make sound strategic marketing decisions based on a compelling fact-base.In Financial Services, Ed has applied qualitative and quantitative research and statistical analysis skills to assist clients with payment product design and pricing, market size and segmentation, EFT cost analyses, check acceptance and ACH conversion, ATM and debit card growth trends and payment preferences for consumers and businesses.
Boston University, Doctoral Studies in Marketing Northeastern University, M.B.A. in Finance and Operations - Ranked First in his Class University of Massachusetts, B.A., Economics, Magna Cum Laude He has given presentations at numerous industry conferences and has authored articles for AFP Exchange, American Banker, Bank Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Journal of Retail Banking, Today, Training and Development and the Treasury Department.
For Nacha, Ed conducted research on the impact of Covid-19 on Accounts Payable and Accouts Receiveble operations at corporates and specialty service providers.
For a Bill-Pay service provider, Blueflame Consulting and sized the US EBPP market and counted the number of billers to guide bank-channel growth efforts to serve banks and billers.
For a leading payment processor, Ed has led the Mobile Bill Presentment and Payment Benchmarking Adoption Survey of large US Billers for the past four years 2012 -2015. The results about the relationship between Mobile Bill Pay and Paperless Billing has been shared at six national conferences and documented in a White Paper.
For the Federal Reserve System and the Retail Payments Office located at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Ed led the 2013 Networks, Processors and Issuers Study (NPIPS) which gathered data on the number and value of electronic payments conducted in the United States. The Study involved an extensive survey of core and emerging payment systems processors including Credit and Debit Cards, Prepaid Cards, ACH and emerging payment methods.
For NACHA, Ed led a survey of 1000 billers to measure their usage, preference and practices for recurring and one-time payments. The results were presented at NACHA Payments 2013.
For a large retailer, Ed led a conjoint study to guide the reconfiguration of their Prepaid Card programs. The research involved developing and conducting a conjoint study which examined customers' preferences and price sensitivities for a variety of product configurations.
For a large travel business, Ed conducted a conjoint study to examine cardholder preferences for loyalty program rewards and fee trade-offs. The information was used to adapt the card issuer programs and network affiliation to changes.
For NACHA's Pay-It Green Coalition, Ed performed a ‘drill-down’ analysis of environmental messaging and consumer programs to examine the effectiveness of various approaches and outcomes for achieving paper statement turn-off. The analysis was shared at the May 2011 CEBP meeting.
For a leading payment services organization, Ed conducted an industry scan of emerging payment product opportunities and technologies for domestic and international B2B payments. The research explored market trends and innovative developments related to increasing Straight-through Processing (STP) rates and methods for sharing remittance information electronically (EDI) for more efficient posting of customer payments to Accounts Receivables files.
For NACHA's Council for Electronic Billing and Payment, Ed led the eBilling Benchmarking Study to measure the progress that 200 billers have achieved with eBill adoption by their customers, to explore what approaches are most effective, current challenges, lessons learned and future plans.
For the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), Ed conducted a survey of individuals who were "New to Credit" or had "Affected Credit" to explore their perspectives and interest in Secured Credit Cards in light of the recently enacted legislation and regulatory rules.
For a Midwestern organization interested in the financial lives, literacy and behaviors of unbanked and underbanked households, Ed led a qualitative research study to gather information that has been shared with banks, educators and policy makers to guide product and financial education programs.
For a leading payments processor, Ed wrote a private-label white paper on what billers can do in response to the 'Great Recession" to reduce costs and improve collections.
As support for consulting firm ongoing engagements, Ed conducted a conjoint study which examined retail bank customer preferences, switching behaviors and brand strength relative to its competitors.
For the FDIC, Ed led the FDIC’s Survey of Banks’ Efforts to serve the Unbanked and Underbanked.The report which includes a summary of the statistical data and case studies is available on the FDIC website http://www.fdic.gov/unbankedsurveys/
For a leading organization seeking innovative approaches to meet the needs of unbanked and underbanked individuals, Ed performed statistical analyses of a large survey dataset to identify preferences and behaviors of low income individuals.
For the Federal Reserve Bank System, Ed directed the Electronic Payments Instrument Studies in 2001, 2004 and 2007 studies.In these FRB studies, his team determined the volume and value of retail electronic payments originated in the United States, included debit and credit cards, ACH and EBT payments.The studies also tracked online bill payment and emerging payment instruments. The reports are available at: http://www.frbservices.org/Retail/pdf/RetailPaymentsResearchProject.pdf.
For Professor Barr of the University of Michigan Law School, Ed supported a conjoint study that was administered to 1003 unbanked and low-income consumers to examine their preferences for check cashing and prepaid/debit card features.The results were presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Bank Competition and Structure Conference. It was also presented at a Philadelphia Fed Card Center conference in 2007.
For a leading Bank, Ed researched opportunities for automating the payroll check cashing process with advanced image processing, customer authentication and database technology for both teller lane and self-service applications.
For the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Ed researched the check cashing industry.The Study of Non-Bank Financial Institutions studied the growth and economics of the Check Cashing businesses. This work included an extensive literature review and field interviews in four cities to better understand the economics and operations of NBFIs.The study is available at http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/report3078.htm
Also for the Treasury Department, Ed led two studies examining options for providing low-cost bank accounts that could be provided to migrate unbanked federal check recipients to electronic payments. These studies included economic waterfall analysis of delivery costs, focus groups, and a survey of unbanked check receipt were completed as part of these engagements.
For The Association for Work Process Improvement (TAWPI), Ed directed the 2005 and 2009/2010 Study Remittance Processing Benchmarking Studies which examine industry and participant performance of remittance processing and bill payments.These studies examine the volume, cost, and error rates of large lockbox operators, best practices and the pace of payment electronification. The studies gathered peer-group benchmark statistics from leading retail lockbox organization which collectively process approximately four billion paper-payments annually.
For a leading provider of Check Acceptance and Risk Management Services, Ed forecast the likely rate of displacement of paper check payments at POS by electronic payment instruments, and the implications of that shift on paper check acceptance risks and processing costs.
For a leading provider of POS check conversion services, Ed examined the issues and challenges of implementing Remote Deposit Capture using Check 21 and Back Office Conversion of paper checks in to ACH debits under NACHA rules for in-person and lockbox payments.
For a software provider, Ed interviewed FIs to understand the impact that Business Check Conversion will have on stop payments, controlled disbursement products and account reconciliation for RDFIs.
For the leading provider of Broadband services, Ed led conjoint studies that were used to calculate the value of High-Speed Data services and recommended speed-based pricing which has been widely adopted in the industry.In subsequent studies, he examined the demand and pricing response for various ‘triple play’ service bundle configurations.For one HSD delivery organization, Ed led a large-scale employee survey which identified opportunities for improving the cost and quality of customer support for the fast growing and complex business.
For a leading Telecom company, Ed led a team that established the statistical relationships between customer churn and various contract structures and sales support activities.
For a leading Aerospace company, Ed led the project team that determined the pricing, content, packaging and bandwidth needs for a new in-flight internet access system that is being deployed aboard long-haul commercial aircraft.
For leading Beverage firms, Ed has performed price elasticity and competitive cost-structure analyses.He assessed the relationship between sales volume by SKU availability and distribution system performance.
For the Department of Defense, Ed has overseen both formal classroom Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt training and consulting support (including kaizens) for process improvements teams focusing on procurement, inventory and supply logistics in Mechanicsburg, Philadelphia and Richmond.The teams utilized skills taught during the Green Belt training, including value stream mapping, process mapping, data analysis, and running rapid improvement events.For DACM, he coordinated the delivery of 54 two-day introductory classes on Lean, Six Sigma, the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and Business Case Development for 1,161 students.
Conference Participation and Speaking
Ed has given presentations on corporate and consumer payments at leading industry association conferences including:
AFP Annual Conference AFP Payments Forum ATM and Debit Forum BAI Transpay Chartwell Utility Conference Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Bank Structure and Competition Conference Federal Reserve Board Conferences FDIC ComE-IN IOFM Payments Conference NACHA Annual 'Payments' NACHA Council 'Megameetings' NEACH Payment Insights NTLA Check Transportation and Insurance Roundtables TAWPI - IAPP Fusion (IFO)
Member New England ACH Association (NEACH) Member of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP)
Member of Faster Payments Council (FPC) Former member of TAWPI and the Payments Capture and Clearing Council (Now IFO) Past Chairman of the Melrose School Committee Former Vice Chairman of the Melrose Technology Council Member MIT Auto ID and Sensing Solutions (formerly RFID) Special Interest Group Past President of the Piscataqua Pioneers