REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 14, 1998 — MSFDC, the joint venture between Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp., today announced that Citibank will join the venture with an equity investment. MSFDC also announced that, effective immediately, the company has changed its name to TransPoint to better reflect the service it provides for consumers, billers and financial institutions. TransPoint’s Internet bill delivery and payment service will be called TransPoint E-Bills.
“We are very excited to have Citibank join TransPoint,” said Hank DeNero, executive vice president of First Data Corp. “The relationship reflects our commitment to providing consumers, billers and financial institutions with a great service and demonstrates Citibank’s strong support of TransPoint’s approach to Internet bill delivery and payment.”
Citibank will acquire a significant minority interest in the venture, with Microsoft and First Data retaining a majority stake in equal proportions. Citibank also will be represented on the TransPoint board of directors.
“We are strong believers in the power of the Internet and its ability to reach our customers, and we’ve created a suite of product solutions designed specifically for this channel and other electronic mediums,” said Ed Horowitz, corporate executive vice president at Citibank. “MSFDC also shares this belief in electronic billing on the Internet – a key component of Citibank’s product strategy – and has built innovative technology to accelerate its launch into this market space.”
As part of the agreement, Citibank will provide TransPoint with access to the “pay anyone” capability that Citibank developed as part of its Direct Access PC Banking. Other retail financial institutions will be able to use “pay anyone” as part of TransPoint’s integrated service. This will enable consumers to pay any bill or make any payment regardless of whether the participating biller delivers the bill electronically. Citibank will also implement TransPoint’s service, enabling Citibank’s businesses and customers to present and pay bills electronically.
TransPoint’s Internet billing technology will be included in Citibank’s e-Citi commerce solutions, a broader suite of electronic products and services that Citibank is developing to meet customer needs in the evolving global electronic economy. These solutions are designed to support the new electronic way of doing business. They offer content, access and choices as Citibank continues to create a distinctive, global, customer-driven, multipurpose electronic experience.
“This relationship is a natural fit and really strengthens our service offering,” said Lewis Levin, vice president of desktop finance at Microsoft. “Citibank’s leadership in e-commerce innovation, combined with TransPoint’s expertise in Internet bill delivery and payment technology, will accelerate the adoption of the service by billers, banks and consumers. The investment by Citibank also ensures TransPoint’s close alignment with the financial services industry. With Citibank’s research and expertise in e-commerce, the expanded venture will be better able to identify and pursue additional e-commerce opportunities as Internet bill delivery and payment grows.”
Internet Bill Delivery and Payment
In the United States, approximately 19 billion bills are mailed to consumers each year, and virtually all are returned via the mail with a paper check. Internet bill delivery and payment is a revolutionary service that enables consumers to receive and pay their bills through the branded home banking services of participating financial institutions. TransPoint is the first to provide a seamless, end-to-end system for delivery and payment of richly formatted bills, statements or notices.
TransPoint’s service is built from the bottom up to meet the needs of financial institutions and billers alike. For retail financial institutions, TransPoint’s Internet bill delivery provides an enticing service to attract more consumers and to encourage more frequent visits to their Web sites. The integration of payment and remittance processing with Internet bill delivery results in a more streamlined and fully electronic process that will reduce customer support problems and costs.
Billers realize substantial savings with TransPoint. Costs for sending bills and receiving payments can be reduced by up to 50 percent to 75 percent in comparison to paper-based methods. In addition, the TransPoint service allows billers to reach customers virtually anywhere through the Internet with graphically rich bills that also serve as powerful, interactive marketing tools that link back to billers’ Web sites. Billers pay TransPoint a fee, generally less than the price of first-class postage, to deliver an electronic version of a bill or statement to their customers via a retail financial institution’s Web site. Payment and remittance are returned electronically to the billers’ accounts receivable department and lockbox for more efficient and reliable processing. TransPoint also gives billers a variety of options that provide control and efficiency in bill design, delivery and collection, such as returning error-free remittances, providing flexible payment options, and giving billers full control over their bills’ creation, design and marketing potential.
Citibank, a global provider of financial services, serves consumers, businesses, and governmental and institutional customers from locations in 100 countries and territories. Its global consumer banking business has been a leader in applying advanced technology to bring individuals
in 57 countries credit, payment and investment services through branches, electronic access, and charge and credit cards. Its global corporate banking business serves major international corporations and local growth companies in emerging markets. Citibank can be reached on the Web at http://www.citibank.com/ .
Formerly MSFDC, TransPoint is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp. formed in June 1997. In late 1998 the company is scheduled to introduce the nation’s first end-to-end system for Internet bill delivery and payment. TransPoint’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. TransPoint is based in Englewood, Colo. For more information, visit http://www.msfdc.com/ .
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