REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 1, 2000 — The days when paying bills meant filling out payment stubs, writing checks, buying stamps, and stuffing envelopes are now fading into the past. A new version of the Internet-based online payment service launched by TransPoint, a joint venture of Microsoft, First Data, and Citibank, will let consumers complete the task with just a few clicks of a mouse.
A recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive indicated that 70 percent of Americans would rather do laundry, clean the house, or visit in-laws, than pay bills. Online bill payment aims to change this attitude by simplifying the task of paying bills and offering the service at convenient, popular Internet destinations.
“The goal of the TransPoint service is to make people’s lives easier,”
said Ruthann Lorentzen, head of marketing for TransPoint.
“By moving a cumbersome paper-based task to the Internet, paying bills becomes quicker, easier, and more convenient.”
TransPoint Online Payment offers two levels of service: a Standard Service and a Premium Service. Using the Standard Service, consumers can pay bills from more than 750 companies across the U.S., including credit cards, utilities, and telecommunications companies. The cost is $2.95 per month for 20 payments, and the first six months are free.
Using the Premium Service, consumers can also pay anyone else who can receive a check — such as dentists, paper deliverers, or even babysitters and charitable organizations. The cost for the Premium Service is $5.95 per month for 20 payments — less than the cost of mailing 20 bills today — and the first three months are free.
The TransPoint Online Payment service also offers features such as e-mail notification when new e-bills arrive, integration with personal finance management software such as Microsoft Money, and a simple, streamlined registration process. In addition, TransPoint uses state-of-the-art technology to safeguard customer accounts.