REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 2, 2001 — Microsoft Corp., Intuit Inc. and CheckFree Corp. today announced that the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) Consortium has expanded with representatives from five leading financial services providers. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE
), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE
), Corillian Corp. (Nasdaq
), E*TRADE Group Inc. (NYSE
) and TD Waterhouse Investor Services Inc. (NYSE
) will appoint chairs and vice chairs to head select industry steering committees, including banking, solution providers and brokerages.
The new committee chairs will represent their industries at meetings with OFX Consortium founders Microsoft, Intuit and CheckFree, during which each committee will discuss and vote on OFX specifications.
“Providing banks, brokerages and solution providers with the opportunity to have a voice in where OFX is headed will enable the consortium to better represent the financial services industry as a whole,”
said Erik Jorgensen, general manager of the Financial Products Group at Microsoft.
“Through this kind of representation, OFX technology will better meet the needs of all industry players.”
In addition to providing input on the development of the OFX standard, the chairs will help broaden the already mounting industry support of OFX, which enables the direct, secure exchange of financial information via the Internet. Through OFX, financial data can be reliably and efficiently transferred between financial services companies and businesses to fulfill customer-initiated requests, making it easier for consumers to manage their money and make smarter financial decisions.
More than 1,400 financial institutions worldwide have implemented OFX. The specification, which has been XML-compliant since version 2.0 and is now available in version 2.0.1 for the main specification and 1.1 for the tax addendum, can be downloaded at http://www.ofx.net/ . OFX 2.0.1 has been enhanced to better support banking account aggregation, online investing and electronic bill payment, enabling financial services companies and businesses to more easily create products and services that work together.
“Industry response to OFX continues to be strong, and we are proud to have been a key player in helping advance the technology and grow awareness of its benefits,”
said Bill Ihrie, chief technology officer and senior vice president of technology at Intuit.
“With the support of these industry leaders, the consortium will continue with its mission to implement a standard that enables the secure exchange of financial data.”
OFX supports a wide range of financial activities, including consumer and small-business banking, bill payment, bill presentment, and investment download and tracking, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and 401(k) plans. OFX also supports download of 1098, 1099 and W-2 tax forms.
“As a founder and leader in the ongoing development of the OFX specification and other electronic billing and payment standards, CheckFree believes the addition of these key organizations will enable the OFX Consortium to better meet the needs of the financial services industry,”
said Ken Hobday, vice president of corporate development at CheckFree.
“Today CheckFree works openly with thousands of corporations to move financial information electronically and to date has more active OFX server deployments than any other company. In this spirit, we look forward to working with these new entrants to expand standards across our industry.”
The new OFX steering committee officers and other industry participants voiced their support for OFX as follows:
“By joining the OFX Consortium, Bank of America can bring its deep experience in financial services and strong understanding of its customers’ needs to the proper forum to build upon and strengthen OFX and other complementing open standards,”
said Chauncey Smith, senior vice president of consumer e-commerce at Bank of America and the OFX Banking Steering Committee chair.
“Bank of America is a strong supporter of open standards, and we believe OFX will continue to be a useful tool in allowing us to securely deliver electronic financial services to our customers.”
“As a global financial services company with more than 10 million online accounts, Citigroup’s goal is to provide a wide range of electronic products and standards-based electronic payment options accessible anywhere, on any device, in a secure and private manner,”
said Dan Schutzer, director of external standards at e-Citi, Citigroup’s representative to OFX and the OFX Banking Steering Committee vice chair.
“OFX will play a significant role in supporting our business objectives so that our customers and partners can gain access to our products and services and exchange information securely, seamlessly and efficiently.”
“As a global supplier of e-finance solutions to the world’s largest financial institutions, Corillian is committed to helping institutions deliver state-of-the-art OFX options to their customers,”
said Matt Cone, chief evangelist for Corillian.
“The worldwide adoption of OFX has been tremendous, and we welcome the opportunity to further enhance the standard and deliver innovative solutions for our customers.”
“An integral part of our anytime, anywhere strategy, OFX allows E*TRADE customers to access their account information securely from products such as Microsoft Money and Quicken,”
said Pam Kramer, chief global product and content officer for E*TRADE.
“The steering committee continues to enhance the specification and grow the adoption of OFX, making it even easier for consumers to manage their money online.”
“OFX technology gives our customers easy access to their account information in a consistent format, regardless of the program being used,”
said Joe Kubikowski, first vice president of e-channel application development for TD Waterhouse and the new chairman of the OFX Brokerage Steering Committee.
“OFX securely supports many programs, and its incorporation into our offerings has proven worthwhile for our firm. We look forward to working with our peers to help shape and expand the standard and promote its wider adoption.”
“The wide adoption of OFX plays a critical role in helping organizations and their customers fully leverage the rich data that today is often locked in older legacy systems and scattered among disparate sources,”
said Masroor Malik, vice president of professional services at Yodlee Inc., the leading provider of account aggregation services worldwide.
“At Yodlee, we support OFX as a leading standard, as well as many other protocols, to ensure we can offer our clients and their users the most robust, reliable data available. This is especially crucial when you’re dealing with personal account information, as our aggregation services do. A standards-based approach helps ensure we can protect this information and offer users a truly rich, personalized experience across all our Yodlee-powered aggregation services.”
About Open Financial Exchange
Open Financial Exchange is a unified specification for the electronic exchange of financial data among financial institutions, businesses and consumers via the Internet.
An open consortium created by CheckFree (Nasdaq:
), Intuit (Nasdaq:
) and Microsoft (Nasdaq
) in early 1997, OFX supports a wide range of financial activities including consumer and small-business banking; consumer and small-business bill payment; bill presentment; and investments download and tracking, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
OFX is XML-compatible and supports transactional Web sites, thin clients and personal financial software. The specification streamlines the process financial institutions need to connect to multiple customer interfaces, processors and systems integrators. By making it more compelling for financial institutions to implement online financial services, OFX is helping accelerate the adoption of online financial services by financial institutions and their customers.
The OFX specification, which can be implemented by any financial institution or vendor, is available for implementation at http://www.ofx.net/ .
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.