Visa USA has announced that DTE Energy, the parent company to Detroit Edison and Michigan Consolidated Gas with more than 3.3 million utility customers, has joined Visa's utility program and will accept Visa for automatic bill payments. DTE Energy will use NOVA Information Systems as its payment processor.

DTE Energy is the largest utility to date to have signed on to offer customers card payments since the launch of Visa’s residential utilities campaign in late 2004. DTE Energy will offer Visa automatic bill payment with no fee as part of its electronic billing program to its customers in Michigan.

DTE Energy will enable cardholders to schedule payments with their Visa credit or Visa check card to automatically pay their bills, allowing them to easily track their payments on their monthly card statements and earn rewards points, based on their card program. The option to pay with a Visa card will also offer DTE Energy customers significant security protection. While fraud remains at historic lows, Visa’s zero liability protects consumers against fraudulent use of their card regardless of where it is used, Visa said.

Our focus has always been to meet the needs of 21st century customers, said Joyce Hayes-Giles, senior vice president of DTE Energy. By working with Visa and NOVA, we’ll offer residential and small business customers the convenience of automatic bill payment and the choice of payment options, while lowering customer service costs and streamlining billing systems to help us stay focused on innovation.