Guaranteed On-Time Payment Attracts MSN Bill Pay Registrants, Survey Shows

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 25, 2003 — Guaranteed on-time payments

1 MSN Bill Payments are managed by CheckFree Corp., which offers the CheckFree Guarantee. If you pay your bills electronically through a CheckFree-powered service, the CheckFree Guarantee protects you against late fees resulting from processing delays. CheckFree will bear the responsibility for any charges (up to $50) related to late payment as long as you schedule the transaction in accordance with the service’s terms and conditions. (

and the ability to pay anyone were the most important features to consumers deciding to enroll in the MSN®
Bill Pay service, according to a recent survey

2 The survey, conducted by The Marketing Workshop Inc. from Oct. 22 to Nov. 18, includes a +/-3.0 percent confidence level.

conducted by The Marketing Workshop Inc. with CheckFree Corp. (Nasdaq
). More than 1,000 respondents revealed that MSN Bill Pay users are more satisfied with the service (88 percent) than consumers using other online bill-pay services (80 percent). The survey also found that scheduling payments ahead of the due dates, tracking payments and paying multiple bills at once are the most-used MSN Bill Pay features.

“Online bill pay has officially hit the mainstream,”
said James Van Dyke, principal and founder of Javelin Strategy and Research.
“To take full advantage of this now-proven capability, consumers will benefit by choosing bill-pay providers that offer consolidated bill-pay services along with sophisticated tools for budgeting and tracking spending habits.”

According to an October 2002 Jupiter Research study, 52 million households will pay at least one bill online by 2006 — an increase of 30 million households from the 2001 forecast. In line with the increasing adoption of online bill pay, January garnered the most MSN Bill Pay registrants yet, representing a 96 percent increase from last year, as consumers more frequently turn to the Internet to manage day-to-day finances.

“For many consumers, life without online bill pay would be like functioning without an ATM,”
said Chris Jolley, director of product management for the Financial Products Group at Microsoft Corp.
“Streamlining what is often considered the most tedious financial task, MSN Bill Pay provides consumers with a fast and easy alternative to buying stamps, mailing bills and licking envelopes.”

Saving Time and Money With MSN Bill Pay

Encouraging consumers to start realizing the benefits of online bill pay, Microsoft is offering one year of free3 online bill-pay service to consumers who register to file their 2002 tax return via CNBC on MSN Money, or who acquire Microsoft’s award-winning personal finance software, Money Deluxe 2003. In addition to the free

3 Complete details on the rules and restrictions can be found at .

plan, MSN Bill Pay offers the following subscription options:

4 See for plan and free offer details. Certain offer restrictions apply.
  • The MSN Bill Pay Standard plan allows consumers to make an unlimited number of bill payments free for the first three months, and then $2.95 per month thereafter. Money transfers are $1.50 each. This plan is free to MSN 8 subscribers.

  • The MSN Bill Pay Premium plan allows consumers to make payments to anyone with a U.S. Postal Service address. This plan is free for the first three months, and then $5.95 per month thereafter. A combined total of 15 bill payments and money transfers is included in the $5.95 monthly fee, after which the cost is 50 cents for each additional bill payment and $1.50 for each additional money transfer. MSN 8 subscribers can sign up for this plan for only $2.95 per month.

About CNBC on MSN Money

CNBC on MSN Money, located exclusively on MSN, is a complete online personal finance service that combines 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 offers consumers the ability 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 with 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 or , or by visiting MSN at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft®
Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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