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Technology Stocks : CheckFree Holdings Corp. (CKFR), the next Dell, Intel?

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To: StocksMan who wrote (20280)11/15/2004 2:58:44 PM
From: StocksMan  Read Replies (1) of 20297
 
Sovereign Bank Offers Enhanced and Free Online Bill Payment Service

Monday November 15, 2:41 pm ET

WYOMISSING, Pa., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sovereign Bancorp, Inc. announced that it has significantly enhanced its service for viewing and paying bills online at sovereignbank.com. The new BillPay service is now free and made available through the bank's technology partnership with CheckFree Services Corporation, a subsidiary of CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR - News).

Utilizing the newest version of CheckFree Web(SM), Sovereign's electronic billing and payment service offers consumers numerous convenient features to manage bills and payments. The enhancements are the result of extensive consumer research and usability testing. The new features include a more simplified single-point bill management center, faster payment processing, improved integration with online banking, and the availability of payment posting information.

"We wanted our customers to be among the first to experience the convenience of the new CheckFree product. The many enhancements, including improved ease-of-use and quicker payments, will help them maximize control of their finances and minimize the time they spend paying bills," said Marianne Doran-Collins, senior vice president, Sovereign Bank. "Our organizations share a commitment to quality, and this service is backed by security and privacy protections, as well as a guarantee to protect against liability for fraud. And the best news is that it is free for all customers."

A recent survey by The Marketing Workshop, Inc. and Harris Interactive, sponsored by CheckFree, concluded that the most satisfied banking customers are those who use a "consolidated" electronic billing and payment service, meaning that they pay all of their bills at one site. Consolidated site users, when compared with those who pay one bill at a time at a biller's site, often called "biller direct," report being better able to manage and organize their finances, appreciate reminders that help them protect their credit scores by paying on time, and report that the consolidated site saves them time and hassle.

With the new service, the bank's customers will experience a bill product that is:

Free. Sovereign Bank has waived its fee for electronic billing and payment services.

Fast. Improved functionality lets customers schedule multiple payments in a fraction of the time it takes now. Some payments can be processed same-day or next-day, and all payments within three or four business days, meaning payments no longer need to be scheduled five or more business days in advance. CheckFree's relationships with thousands of billers and merchants, and its bill calendar technology included in CheckFree Web, enable bill payments to be scheduled and credited faster than ever before.

Easy. The new BillPay service is simpler to navigate and use. Access to all critical BillPay information is consolidated onto one page, and the service provides the ability to receive bills electronically, so there are fewer paper bills to track.

Guaranteed. The Sovereign BillPay Guarantee, backed by the CheckFree Guarantee, assures the timely, safe arrival of payments.

"Electronic billing and payment leads to more satisfied customers who have longer relationships with their banks. Offering CheckFree Web 4.0 benefits the banking institution, the billers and their mutual customers . everyone wins," said Matt Lewis, Executive Vice President of Client Development, CheckFree Services Corporation. "With CheckFree's new platform, Sovereign Bank is providing its customers with a wealth of new features that make it easier than ever to pay bills online and maximize control of personal finances. . ."

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