DENVER, Dec. 3, 1997 — MSFDC, the joint venture of Microsoft and First Data Corp., announced today that Wells Fargo and KeyBank are the first banks to announce plans to pilot MSFDC’s electronic bill presentment and payment service. KeyBank also plans to join the MSFDC Advisory Board.
In addition to these financial institutions, a number of major billers from various industries intend to commit to the pilot. These include Advanta Corp., Chase Credit Card, GE Capital, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., J.C. Penney Company Inc., New Century Energies and their subsidiary Public Service Company of Colorado, Payment Systems for Credit Unions Inc., PECO Energy Co., Shell Oil Co. and Texas Utilities.
“We are delighted to be working with Wells Fargo and KeyBank to test bill presentment on their online banking platforms prior to our 1998 market launch,” said Chuck White, co-general manager of MSFDC. “We also are pleased to have a number of important billers involved at this stage in our development process.”
This announcement comes after MSFDC’s first formal meeting with its advisory board, where policies were established on privacy, data ownership, security and payment infrastructure.
“We are committed that no data ownership or privacy rights will be altered through the development of our electronic payment and presentment service,” said Darren Remington, co-general manager of MSFDC. “This has been a significant factor in gaining support from the banking industry and from billers. We will offer these policies to the electronic bill presentment industry as a model to protect the interests of billers, banks and consumers.”
MSFDC System Creates Advantages for Banks and Consumers
As the first bank to begin working with MSFDC, Wells Fargo has provided significant input to help MSFDC tailor the service to address the needs of banks and their customers.
“Wells Fargo believes that bill presentment is the key to providing a truly compelling online banking offering for our customers,” said Dudley Nigg, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Bank. “They will be drawn to the convenience and power of receiving and paying bills in one easy step, with all of their payment information fully integrated into their banking relationship. We are working with MSFDC to introduce this revolutionary development in online financial services because we have confidence that MSFDC will provide the same high-quality service that has become the hallmark of Wells Fargo Online.”
The MSFDC service will be offered and branded by financial institutions as a part of their home banking service. With the MSFDC system, consumers benefit from an efficient, easy-to-use bill-management system that collects their bills on one Web site. Using a standard industry browser or personal finance management software, consumers can go to their financial institution’s Web site, point and click their bills, and pay them in a fraction of the time they would typically take to write a check, record it in their check register, find a stamp and mail the bill.
“KeyBank is committed to providing our customers with technology that can simplify their financial lives,” said Patrick J. Swanick, vice chairman at KeyBank. “Electronic bill presentment is clearly the next step in online banking. Because the MSFDC service fully integrates presentment and payment, billers’ costs can be lowered and customers can see the status of their payment through the whole process.”
Unlike current electronic bill payment services that charge banks for payments made by their online customers, the MSFDC electronic presentment service includes no fees for the branding bank. In fact, MSFDC will share revenues with financial institutions that offer the service. There are also revenue opportunities for banks that offer the MSFDC service to their commercial customers. When combined with cost savings in billing, payment processing and check handling, these opportunities represent a significant profit enhancement to participating banks.
In addition to receiving electronically presented bills on their Web sites at no additional cost, financial institutions can use MSFDC’s technology to enhance customer loyalty and retention. Customers can look at their bills and see the impact on their checking account balance immediately on the days they elect to pay bills. Once initial account numbers are entered, they need only click buttons to make payments and avoid all data-entry mistakes.
Billers Gain Benefits
For billers using the service, MSFDC provides a variety of services to give them complete control and efficiency in bill delivery and collection, such as returning error-free remittances, allowing full involvement in the bill’s image and design, and providing flexible payment options. Billers pay MSFDC a fee, roughly equivalent to the cost of postage, to deliver an electronic version of a bill or statement to their customers via a bank-branded Web site. For no additional cost, MSFDC also returns the remittance information (like a bill stub) and payment instructions to the biller or the biller’s lockbox.
Kathryn Marinello, president of GE Capital Consumer Financial Services, said, “This will enable us to continue serving our customers with a highly valuable set of financial services while MSFDC teams up with us behind the scenes to make our customers’ lives easier and reduce our costs of processing.”
Based in Denver, MSFDC is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp. formed in June 1997. In mid-1998, the company is scheduled to introduce the nation’s first end-to-end system for electronic presentment of richly formatted bills over the Internet, as well as next-generation electronic payment and remittance capabilities. MSFDC’s service, which will use existing payment systems, will allow consumers to access and pay their bills through the branded home-banking services of participating financial institutions.
MSFDC combines Microsoft’s software development expertise with First Data Corp.’s proven track record in serving financial institutions with reliable and efficient transaction-processing services. MSFDC has made a long-term commitment to build the electronic bill presentment and payment industry working with financial institutions that offer the service to their customers.
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