REDMOND, Wash., March 12, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that bill pay sign-ups at CNBC on MSN®
Money ( http://money.msn.com/ ) have more than doubled in the past year, demonstrating the growing momentum of electronic bill pay and banking among today’s consumers. In response to the increasing trend, Microsoft is currently offering one year of free online bill pay service to consumers who register to file their 2001 tax return via CNBC on MSN Money. 1
Numerous analyst surveys and studies have reported a rapid growth in electronic bill pay and banking over the past 12 months, as consumers have increasingly moved online to enjoy the ease and convenience of paying their bills and managing their daily finances via the Internet. According to Jupiter Media Metrix, bill payment activities rose 12.5 percent from 2000 to 2001, with banking and money management taking priority over all other financial activities conducted online. 2 Gartner Inc. analysts predict that by 2003 the number of consumers who view bills electronically will reach 64 million. 3
“Online bill pay is quickly becoming one of the most useful financial activities conducted on the Web,” said Chris Jolley, director of marketing for the Financial Products Group at Microsoft. “At MSN, we’re committed to providing consumers with the best personal finance experience on the Web, including a bill pay service that helps them quickly and easily pay all their bills from one central location while simultaneously checking their e-mail, shopping or conducting any number of online activities.”
To receive one free1 year of bill pay from MSN, consumers simply register to file their taxes online at CNBC on MSN Money. Beyond the current one-year-free promotion, MSN Bill Pay offers the following plans to accommodate every financial lifestyle:
The MSN Bill Pay Three for Free 4 plan allows consumers to make up to three free payments a month to any individual or company in the United States, after which they would pay $1.50 per payment.
The MSN Bill Pay Deluxe plan allows consumers to make payments to anyone with a U.S. Postal Service address. Up to 15 payments per month are included in the $5.95 monthly service fee, after which the cost increases to 50 cents per payment.
In addition to saving money on stamps, envelopes and potential late fees, consumers who pay their bills online at CNBC on MSN Money can access the site’s numerous account management tools to help them track and manage all their financial transactions and balances in one place, including these:
The My Accounts home page offers consumers a complete look at their financial accounts, including bank, credit card and brokerage account balances from more than 1,200 financial institutions.
The Budget Tracker makes it easier than ever for consumers to set up a realistic budget, enabling them to monitor monthly spending vs. budget to identify key areas that account for overspending. As a result, consumers can make necessary adjustments and take appropriate action to improve their spending habits.
The Spending Analysis gives consumers a detailed view of their expense categories over a variety of time periods. This powerful tool provides consumers with a quick and easy way to see exactly where their money goes by showing dollar amounts and percentage breakouts for each expense category.
About CNBC on MSN Money
CNBC on MSN Money, located exclusively on MSN, is a complete online personal finance service that combines the award-winning finance tools and content from Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software, with exclusive investment news and analysis from CNBC, the world’s most popular financial cable news network. CNBC on MSN Money empowers consumers to easily complete a wide range of everyday financial tasks — such as paying bills, viewing account balances, tracking investments, planning for retirement and staying informed on the latest financial news — in one convenient place online, any time, any place.
CNBC on MSN Money enables people at all levels of experience to take control of and feel comfortable with their finances, helping them make smart financial decisions. Leading industry publications, including Barron’s, Forbes Magazine, Money magazine, PC Magazine and PC World Magazine, consistently applaud the sophisticated personal finance tools and information from Microsoft. The service is available at http://www.money.msn.com/ or http://www.cnbc.com/ , or by visiting MSN at http://www.msn.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
1 The MSN Bill Pay special 12 months offer provides you with 12 months of free online bill pay service. You can make up to 15 payments per month to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. After the first 12 months, the service costs only $5.95 per month to pay up to 15 payments per month. If you make more than 15 payments in a month, you will be charged $0.50 for each payment over 15. There is no charge to receive e-bills. The special 12-month offer means that you will not be charged the normal monthly service fee until after your 12th month. If you cancel before the end of your twelfth month, you will not be charged. Existing MSN Bill Pay customers are not eligible for the 12 months free offer. This special 12 months free offer cannot be combined with any other MSN Bill Pay free offers. An existing checking or money market account is required. Payments can be made only to a U.S. mailing address. After the 12 months free trial period, $5.95 per month will be automatically deducted from your checking or money market account until you cancel your bill pay account. Complete details on the rules and restrictions can be found at http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/partners/microsoft/ .
2 Source: Jupiter Media Metrix Inc., January 2002
3 Source: Gartner press release, Nov. 5, 2001
4 The MSN Bill Pay special three months offer provides you with three months of free online bill pay service. You can make up to 15 payments per month to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. After the first three months, the service costs only $5.95 per month to pay up to 15 payments per month. If you make more than 15 payments in a month, you will be charged $0.50 for each payment over 15. There is no charge to receive e-bills. The special three month offer means that you will not be charged the normal monthly service fee until after your third month. If you cancel before the end of your three months, you will not be charged.
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