|Matav, Hungary's Primary Telecommunication Provider, Takes Lead With National Electronic Billing and Payment Consolidation Service Powered by CheckFree Software|
Tuesday January 11, 5:09 pm ET
ATLANTA and LONDON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CheckFree Software, a business of CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR - News), today announced that Matav, Hungary's former national telecommunications carrier, has begun the pilot phase of the country's first electronic billing and payment service.
The new service will enable customers to view, query and pay their bills online, which is a major convenience in a country where consumer bill payments are typically made via money orders and giro payments at the local post office. Matav's new Internet billing service is based on CheckFree i-Series software with systems integration provided by IBM and local business partner, Triad Computer Services. Matav is currently working on its national messaging and promotional campaign for the service, which is scheduled to launch at the end of February 2005.
Matav is also breaking new ground by becoming one of the first telecommunication providers globally to host an e-billing and payment consolidation service. A bill consolidator enables a range of telecoms, utilities, credit card and other cyclical bills to be viewed and paid from a single web site. The role of electronic billing and payment consolidator has traditionally been filled by a central payment processor or postal service provider. As a pioneering telecommunication service provider, Matav will offer consolidated bills for its own fixed, wireless, cable TV and IP business units, and then extend the service to cross-industry billers throughout Hungary.
Hungary lifted restrictions on electronically generated bills in May 2004, changing a mandate that companies could only issue paper bills and statements. "In response to the new regulations, we were determined to be the first company in Hungary to bring electronic billing and payment to market," said Peter Racsko, EBPP Project Leader and Director of Business Intelligence and Documentation Directorate at Matav. "Our implementation and requirements were very complex, and we needed a solution that was flexible and easy to configure to bring us into production quickly. CheckFree i-Series was the only solution that met our requirements to accommodate a wide variety of data formats from different billing systems, and provide multiple payment interfaces, in our case specific to the national Hungarian banking system."
"The potential success of Matav's new service required a technology solution that could allow a wide assortment of bill types to be delivered and viewed at a single site, so flexibility and scalability were critical," explained Randy McCoy, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CheckFree Software.
Currently, Matav generates four million paper bills a month and anticipates significant savings in paper and related costs, as well as potential new revenue streams such as electronic archiving for up to eight years, with on-demand distribution to customers. Customers themselves will also benefit. The new electronic billing service provides greater control over the payment process, enabling customers to preview and query their bills before making payment and receiving a transaction confirmation. Looking ahead, Matav also anticipates extending the service to include a range of services for corporate customers, for whom e-billing brings the ability to access and analyse complex billing data, connect to ERP and accounting systems and provide additional types of enterprise workflow support. . .