ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Feb. 1, 2000 — TransPoint LLC today launched a powerful new version of its online bill payment service that integrates its existing e-bills service with a
feature. With Pay Anyone, consumers can make payments to virtually anyone in the United States – companies and individuals. The latest version of the TransPoint TM online bill payment service also includes e-mail notification, an improved user interface to enhance ease of use, biller-authored registration, biller-authored customer support, a guarantee, and state-of-the-art security and privacy measures.
The new Pay Anyone service allows consumers to view and pay bills that arrive electronically through the TransPoint service, pay bills that arrive through the U.S. Postal Service, and pay nearly anyone else. TransPoint offers two levels of service to consumers: a Standard Service and a Premium Service.
Standard Service. Consumers will be able to pay bills from more than 750 companies across the United States. These companies constitute 75 percent of the largest billers in the top 20 metropolitan areas and comprise services that consumers receive regular monthly bills from, such as credit cards, utilities and telecommunications. The cost for the standard service is $2.95 per month for 20 payments. The first six months are free.*
Premium Service. In addition to paying any company on TransPoint’s list of 750-plus billers, consumers will also be able to pay anyone else. This can include other companies from which consumers receive bills (dentist, paper deliverer, etc.), or anyone they would normally write a check to (a friend, babysitter or charitable organization). The cost for the premium service is $5.95 per month for 20 payments to anyone. The first three months are free.*
“The consumer uptake of payment services on the Internet is going to take a big jump with our launch,”
said Lewis Levin, president and CEO of TransPoint.
“We are getting the word out, hitting a new price point and making online bill payment a lot easier with a great new user interface. As a result, we will build a larger base of customers who want to receive e-bills from billers.”
“TransPoint has been steadily gaining market share in the past year as billers turn to the company for an e-billing consolidator solution. In late 1998, just 10 percent of the billers GartnerGroup surveyed named TransPoint as one of their consolidators, but by year-end 1999 that number rose to 42 percent,”
said Avivah Litan, financial services research director at industry analyst firm GartnerGroup.
To promote its enhanced service, TransPoint has begun a multimillion-dollar national advertising campaign. Ads will begin appearing this month in national and regional print and online publications, as well as on radio stations in major metropolitan areas.
“This industry will realize its much-heralded growth potential when available solutions provide a convergence of capabilities across the categories of payment, presentment, convenience-oriented features and security,”
said James Van Dyke, senior analyst, Internet Research Group.
“TransPoint’s aggressive move to fully integrate electronically presented bills and bill payment is significant, and serves as an important bridge between the limited number of billers presenting their bills electronically and consumers who want to pay all of their bills online.”
Highlights of New and Upgraded Features
Pay Anyone service. This service enables consumers to make payments to any person or company in the United States. If TransPoint does not have an electronic connection with that person or company, a paper check will be sent on behalf of the customer. With use of a pay anyone service, consumers can conveniently pay all of their bills on the Internet.
E-mail notification. This feature allows consumers to be notified when they have new e-bills or notices and enables them to gain more control over their finances. Consumers can receive two types of notifications: alert notifications (messages telling them when their bills or messages arrive) and summary notifications (weekly announcements that summarize the status of their accounts).
Ease of use.
Improved user interface. The service now has more intuitive organization and terminology. It is simplified so users don’t have to learn any new terms.
Streamlined registration. Consumers who visit www.transpoint.com can click on the
“Sign up Now!”
button for a simple, one-page registration form. The form asks for only essential information and prompts the consumer to set a personal user ID and secure password.
Integration with Microsoft Money. The new version of TransPoint integrates with Microsoft Money 99 (or later versions) so that when consumers pay their bills using TransPoint, their Microsoft Money file can be updated to reflect their bill-paying activity. This simple integration with Microsoft Money provides a convenient way to keep all financial transactions and information organized in one place.
Security and privacy. TransPoint uses state-of-the-art technology to safeguard the integrity of the TransPoint service. Security measures are backed by a comprehensive $50 maximum loss guarantee. Security measures employed by TransPoint include the following: customers create their own user IDs and strong passwords during registration; the latest industry-standard data encryption protocol, called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), protects data during transmission over the Internet; independent security consultants perform periodic analyses and audits of the entire TransPoint system; and the service is in full compliance with Federal Government Regulation E, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which governs financial transactions with electronic payment services.
Guarantee. TransPoint guarantees that if someone gains unauthorized access to a consumer’s account and withdraws or transfers funds, the consumer will not be liable for any amount over $50. This is similar to the protection offered by most major credit cards. For bills delivered online, TransPoint will cover late payment charges if a payment arrives after its scheduled delivery date, as long as the consumer scheduled the payment according to the service terms and conditions.
(See http://www.transpoint.com/ for complete details regarding the TransPoint guarantee.)
Biller-authored registration . This allows billers to author the registration page that the consumer sees when adding the biller to their list of companies and people to pay. Online billers can enhance their customers’ registration experience in a number of ways, such as adding instructions or graphics to help customers locate their account numbers on their paper bills. It also allows the billers to own their customers’ registration experience.
Biller-authored customer support. This capability allows billers to author their own customized customer support pages. These pages can be referenced in the online bill and in the Contact Us area of the site. Billers benefit by being able to integrate the online billing customer support process more closely with their existing support systems, potentially lowering support costs. Customers benefit by receiving more specific customer support information from their billers, such as company- or industry-specific FAQs, or links to billers’ existing support services.
In conjunction with TransPoint’s new strategy to spur consumer adoption, the company will continue to aggressively work with billers to implement fully electronic bill delivery and payment.
Online bill paying is expected to expand exponentially in the years ahead. Jupiter Communications predicts that the number of households paying bills online will increase from 3.5 million in 1999 to more than 18.4 million by 2003.
TransPoint, established in June 1997, is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp., with Citibank as a minority equity investor. TransPoint is a leader in the emerging electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) industry with a completely new, seamless e-bills service built from the ground up. The TransPoint system uses innovative technology and integrates easily with billers’ and banks’ existing payment systems. Launched commercially in April 1999, the TransPoint service is designed to be the fast, easy way for consumers with
Internet access to make all of their payments online from a single, secure Web site. Consumers can pay their bills at multiple Internet locations, including the MSN MoneyCentral personal finance online service and directly through the TransPoint Web site. TransPoint e-bills are also scheduled to be available at the Web sites of many leading financial institutions in the coming months. TransPoint is based in Englewood, Colo. More information about TransPoint is available at http://www.transpoint.com/ .
*Consumers can go to http://www.transpoint.com/ for offer details regarding free service. Certain restrictions apply.
TransPoint is an exclusive U.S. trademark of TransPoint LLC.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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