Microsoft and First Data Form New Company to Enable Consumers To Receive and Pay Bills Over the Internet|
DENVER-June 26, 1997-Advancing electronic commerce over the Internet, Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp. today launched MSFDC, a joint-venture company that in early 1998 is scheduled to introduce a service that will enable companies to use the Internet to send bills to, and receive payments from, consumers. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The service will allow consumers to access and pay their bills through the branded home-banking services of participating financial institutions, or directly using a Web site hosted by the venture. The service, which will use existing payment systems, will be the first of its kind to provide an end-to-end system for electronic presentment of richly formatted bills and to represent next-generation electronic payment and remittance capabilities. Field trials of the service with participating banks and billers will commence later this summer.
Microsoft and First Data have formed an advisory board with representatives from financial institutions, industry associations and billing service providers to help evaluate emerging customer needs, develop innovative products and services, and satisfy regulatory and information-security requirements. Founding members of the advisory board include leading financial institutions, American Express Company, Bank of America, The Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank and Wells Fargo. Major industry associations include the American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute and United States Telephone Association. Prominent billing service providers include CSG Systems Inc. and International Billing Services.
Microsoft and First Data will be equal partners in MSFDC, which will be based in Denver. The two companies will combine their capabilities in software development, Internet technology and payment transaction processing as well as their established relationships with banks and merchants to deliver the new Internet-based service to consumers. MSFDC will employ a dedicated management, sales and marketing team. The board of directors comprises representatives from both Microsoft and First Data.
"MSFDC is an important part of Microsoft's strategy to further electronic commerce on the Internet," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. "Microsoft and First Data are creating the first service that seamlessly links billers, banks and consumers through a low-cost, feature-rich bill-payment solution."