REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30, 1996 — Microsoft Corp., in conjunction with a broad and impressive list of financial institutions, today announced a series of significant developments in the adoption of Open Financial Connectivity (OFC) within the financial services industry. Microsoft also announced the availability of the first OFC client application, Microsoft® Money 97, which also supports the ADMS 2.0 online banking specification by Visa Interactive.
The OFC specification, which Microsoft announced in December 1995, allows financial institutions to connect directly to the Microsoft Money software program. Currently, 47 financial institutions and solution providers are implementing OFC-based solutions. In addition, Microsoft announced the extension of OFC to support brokerage accounts and transactions. The company has made the new extended specification available on its home banking Web page.
Several major financial services companies, including American Express, Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., Fidelity Investments and Chase Manhattan Bank, announced their commitment to delivering OFC in home banking and brokerage products, including Microsoft Money and Microsoft Investor, by the first quarter of 1997. In addition, more than 37 transaction-processing companies and bank solution providers, including CheckFree, CFI ProServices Inc. and EDS, announced that they are building OFC servers for banking and bill payment. Microsoft also announced the delivery of the first OFC client application, Microsoft Money 97, which delivers OFC connectivity and a choice of additional processing options, including Visa Interactive, for participating banks.
Delivering on the Vision of Open Internet Banking
Microsoft’s then newly formed desktop finance division first articulated its vision for online banking delivery at the BAI Retail Delivery Conference in December 1995. The vision involved three major goals: first, the cooperative development of a truly open specification for Internet banking, available to all financial service providers and client software developers. Second, it involved creating a network of premier third-party solution providers to build and implement home banking solutions, based on this specification, for financial service companies. Third, the vision involved rapid development of clientside product support from Microsoft, including Microsoft Money, Microsoft Investor, and a set of Web-based banking controls for banks to
and use on their own transactional Web sites.
“We’re working hand-in-glove with the leaders in the financial services business to help them reach out to their customers via the Internet,”
said Lewis Levin, vice president of the desktop finance division at Microsoft.
“The large banks and brokerage companies are not just looking for a tactical marketing agreement with a personal finance software product. They want a strategic relationship that can provide real front- and back-end support for Internet banking and brokerage – one that in no way intrudes on their customer relationships. That’s what OFC is all about.”
With today’s announcements, this vision is rapidly becoming a reality. Two of the nation’s pre-eminent financial services providers, American Express and Chase Manhattan Bank, will use OFC to offer their customers access to their accounts and Microsoft Money 97 by the first quarter of 1997.
“Enabling American Express customers to connect with Microsoft Money provides them with the tools they need to help simplify their lives by managing their card and financial accounts online,”
said David Bauman, senior vice president of American Express Interactive Services.
“We support Open Financial Connectivity because it allows us to offer additional value to American Express customers and provides greater flexibility to the financial services industry.”
“Chase Manhattan Bank endorses the Microsoft Money 97 product and the OFC specification,”
said Ron Braco, senior vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank.
By implementing OFC, the Microsoft Money 97 software package will allow our customers to connect directly to Chase Manhattan Bank for online banking services. As a result, Chase Manhattan Bank customers will view the same online, ‘up-to-the-second’ balance and transaction history information available at ATMs, branches and telephone-based call centers.
OFC Extended to Support Brokerage Accounts and Transactions
Microsoft has worked with the top brokerage houses, including Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. and Fidelity Investments, to develop extensions to the OFC specification. Through the brokerage components of OFC, customers will be able to obtain a record of their transactions and current holdings, place orders, and place trades. The OFC specification for brokerage accounts is now available from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/industry/sec/ .
“Fidelity’s 6 million retail customers are increasingly embracing the Internet,”
said Mary Ruth Moran, senior vice president, retail marketing at Fidelity Investments.
“Bringing our customer experience to the table, we’ve worked closely with Microsoft to help shape OFC to meet the needs of Fidelity customers who are eager to access their accounts online.”
Broad Financial Industry Support for OFC
Making OFC services accessible to the thousands of retail financial institutions in the United States and other countries requires a broad network of OFC solution providers. These companies, which provide a significant amount of the transaction processing and host management services for financial institutions, are rapidly developing and implementing OFC solutions today. Microsoft also announced the support of 37 providers, including leading transaction-processing companies CheckFree and EDS, as well as CFI ProServices, a home banking software company. CheckFree will use OFC to provide access to electronic home banking and bill payment transaction processing for financial institutions through Microsoft Money 97. CFI ProServices also announced the availability of its OFC support for Microsoft Money 97.
“Microsoft and CheckFree have both made it clear that financial institutions should have access to the best solutions available to deliver their own home banking product,”
said Pete Kight, chairman and CEO of CheckFree.
“This new version of Money with CheckFree processing is an outstanding solution.”
“As an information technology services provider and integrator serving 6,000 financial institutions globally, EDS is committed to offering the full range of alternative delivery services and to continually augmenting these services with innovative, bank-branded software products,”
said Paul Rudolph, division president of electronic markets at EDS.
“Integrating OFC with our home banking capabilities enables us to provide our customers with yet another channel to better serve their customers.”
“Our new Money interface is an important part of the integrated technology solutions we provide to help financial institutions operate their branch offices, telephone call centers and electronic banking services,”
said Matt Chapman, chairman and chief executive officer of CFI ProServices.
“The more than 150 institutions using our home banking software are anxiously awaiting this interface. Like CFI, Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to integrated delivery systems through the Open Financial Connectivity specification.”
The other OFC solution providers announcing support include the following:
This group of solution providers provides transaction-processing or home-banking software for a total of more than 10,000 financial institutions worldwide. The OFC banking specification, located on the Microsoft online banking Web site, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/industry/bank/ .
Microsoft Money 97 – Offering Choice and Flexibility for Financial Institutions
Microsoft also announced the immediate availability of Microsoft Money 97, an updated release of its award-winning personal finance software that includes OFC support as well as support for Visa Interactive’s ADMS 2.0 online banking specification and Intuit Services Corp. Visa Interactive is also offering its Visa ePay bill payment service through Money 97 for banks that do not yet provide full online banking services.
“In March, we set out to create, with Microsoft and its Money product, an additional program for home banking and bill payment that gives consumers access to their accounts and preserves the financial institution’s brand, its customer relationships and its ownership of the payment system,”
said Chris Schellhorn, president and chief operating officer of Visa Interactive.
“The result is a popular alternative for the personal computer that meets these objectives, giving consumers and financial institutions greater choice and flexibility in today’s online environment.”
“In keeping with our strategy of providing choice and flexibility, Money 97’s expanded connectivity options offer financial institutions the ability to customize their online service offerings according to the needs and desires of their customers,”
said Richard Bray, product unit manager for Money in the Microsoft desktop finance division.
“Customers demand new levels of convenience and flexibility in banking services, and Microsoft is pleased to work with financial institutions to help meet those needs.”
In all, 60 banks have announced their intent to offer their customers access to account information in Microsoft Money 97 by the end of 1996, with 37 banks immediately available to customers who license Money 97 today.
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