|To: Sweet Ol who wrote (20283)||11/17/2004 4:09:19 PM|
|What's Your Type? CheckFree-Sponsored Lieberman Study Identifies Six Types of Bill Payers|
Wednesday November 17, 4:00 pm ET
-- From Maximizers to Desperate Avoiders, Americans Approach Paying Bills Differently --
ATLANTA, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- While monthly bills are a fact of life for most consumers, the approach people take to paying their bills varies widely. Today, CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR - News) announced the results of a 2004 survey conducted by Lieberman Research. The survey found that Americans fit into six categories when it comes to attitudes about paying their bills, and that these segments are likely to approach bill paying in very different ways -- ranging from seeing their bill payment behavior as a way to get ahead to a task they are desperately trying to avoid.
The Lieberman survey of 1,200 Internet users, sponsored by CheckFree, which powers the bill payment services of more than 1,400 banks and Web sites, is representative of the approximately 74 million online consumer households in the United States. As of June 2004, an estimated 52.7 percent of online households have paid at least one bill online according to CheckFree Analytic Research Services, a group that studies consumer financial behavior year-round to enhance products and share trends with the company's clients.
The participants in the CheckFree-Lieberman study either have primary responsibility for paying their household's bills or share that responsibility. The attitude segmentation found that most Americans fit into one of the following six bill payment categories:
- e-Savvy Planner -- e-Savvy planners are excited by the idea of trying
the latest technology products and services and are willing to spend
money on tools that make managing their finances easier. They tend to
be organized and successful financial planners, are technology
optimists who may be among the first to use the latest gadgets, and are
often asked for technology advice by friends and family. They typically
sign up for electronic billing and payment at their bank, credit union
or brokerage site, because of the flexibility and centralized features
that such a service provides.
- Convenience Seeker -- Convenience seekers do not want to spend a long
time paying bills. They are interested in "quick and easy" services and
are likely to pay their bills online at a single Web site such as their
bank. Convenience Seekers are more likely than the other segments to
believe that paying bills online is safer than paying bills via the
paper mail, and value the ability to track and control their spending
from one site.
- Self-Improver -- Self-Improvers find financial management to be
stressful and time consuming, but they are actively seeking help to
gain control of their finances. They often struggle to manage their
budgets, may overlook bills and frequently carry a balance on their
credit cards. They are in search of an organizational system that gives
them increased control and makes managing finances easier. Paying
bills online at one place appeals to them because they acknowledge that
they "need help."
- Maximizer -- Maximizers manage their money strategically and actively
seek rewards such as frequent flyer points. They tend to be financially
secure, and schedule bills to be paid online in order to optimize cash
flow and to qualify for low interest rates. They particularly like the
time savings and not having to deal with the hassle of making a trip to
buy stamps, or writing checks to the same companies each month.
- Desperate Avoider -- Desperate Avoiders are stressed about their
finances in general and can be overwhelmed by their debts. They
typically find monthly bill payment to be a chore and financial
management in general to be very stressful. They have trouble keeping
track of finances, and may avoid opening bills and delay paying them
altogether. By paying and receiving bills online at a single Web site,
and using self-scheduled reminders, these Desperate Avoiders could gain
control of the bill payment process.
- Paranoid Paper Pusher -- Paranoid Paper Pushers are distrustful of
Internet security and believe they are safer receiving paper bills and
sending paper checks by mail. They are very careful and organized about
their finances and may have developed a comprehensive paper-based
financial management system that they've been using for many years.
Consumers who want to learn more about the benefits of paying bills online and use a search tool to identify banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, portals and billers in their state who offer these services, can visit checkfree.com , a consumer education site. . .
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|From: Mr. Mo||12/6/2004 10:44:27 PM|
|USA TODAY: Electronic payments surpass paper checks|
WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, Americans' use of credit cards, debit cards and other electronic bill paying has eclipsed paper checks.
The number of electronic payment transactions last year totaled 44.5 billion — exceeding the number of checks paid, 36.7 billion — according to Federal Reserve studies released Monday.
That's a first, the Fed said.
"The balance has shifted from check writing to electronic payments, and we expect this trend to continue," said Richard Oliver, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve banks' product manager for retail payments.
In the Fed's previous research, the number of consumer and business checks paid in 2000 came to 41.9 billion, while the number of credit cards, debt cards and other electronic payments totaled 30.6 billion.
The shift seen in 2003 toward more electronic payments reflects the expanding role of technology in the retail, financial and banking businesses, private economists said. It also reflects industry's efforts to make electronic payments more convenient for customers, economists said.
"It's all about convenience. No longer do consumers want to write checks with two forms of identification. It's just too cumbersome," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research. "It's so much easier to swipe and sign."
Yamarone also believed that incentives linked to credit cards and some other electronic payments is a factor behind their increasing use. "You don't get any air miles for writing checks," he said.
The studies' results aren't surprising, Yamarone said. He confesses he has written only two checks this year, both to cover the costs of dry cleaning.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has said the number of checks written in this country began to decline in the mid-1990s, while electronic payments have grown substantially.
The Fed study said the 36.7 billion checks paid in 2003 had a value of about $39.3 trillion. The figures are based on the number of checks paid during the period, not written, the Fed said. The studies didn't provide a figure for the number of checks written.
The 44.5 billion electronic payments in 2003 had a dollar value of $27.4 trillion.
Other findings of the Fed surveys:
•The number of credit card payments totaled 19 billion in 2003, with a value of $1.7 trillion. The number of debt card transactions totaled 15.6 billion, with a dollar value of $600 billion.
•There were 6.1 billion ATM withdrawals in 2003, with a total value of $520 billion. Commercial bank customers accounted for 64.7% of ATM withdrawals.
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|To: Mr. Mo who wrote (20285)||12/15/2004 1:40:24 PM|
|CheckFree and Netonomy Sign Strategic Reseller Agreement|
Wednesday December 15, 9:00 am ET
-- MyNetonomy integrated with CheckFree's world-class e-billing and payment products to provide best-in-class customer self-service solution --
ATLANTA and BOSTON, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR - News), a leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products, and Netonomy, the global leader in customer self-service (CSS) and bill analysis solutions for the communications industry, today announced a partnership in which CheckFree will integrate and resell Netonomy's interactive, customer self-service technology as part of its CheckFree i-Series suite of electronic billing software.
With CheckFree i-Series, organizations around the world can send electronic invoices, bills and/or statements to business customers and consumers from a single, integrated platform. Netonomy's customer self-service solution, MyNetonomy, enables companies to offer personalized self-service portals that provide online account management, e-Commerce and electronic bill analysis.
Through the partnership, CheckFree will provide its billing customers with an expanded software suite that offers more comprehensive, best-of-breed customer self-service capabilities. With the joint solution, billers will be able to allow consumers and business customers to manage their accounts, buy new products and services, review, analyze and pay bills, and resolve any problems through a single user interface at the biller's own Web site. Business customers have expanded capabilities enabling them to bulk order new products and services and route those orders for management approval, activate accounts and process service or account changes on behalf of their employees, reassign accounts between staff, analyze order and billing information, automatically separate personal billing transactions from business transactions and report and resolve problems online.
Today, CheckFree distributes electronic bills for its customers through over 1,400 consolidated electronic billing and payment destinations in the United States, including financial services organizations and Internet portals. CheckFree i-Series software is currently being used by over 130 companies in 25 countries around the world to deliver electronic bills and invoices to consumers and business customers.
Netonomy offers best-of-breed customer self-services capabilities to some of the world's largest, most innovative communications companies in the world, including Orange, and Vodafone. Its solutions reach around 70 million business and residential communications subscribers in Europe, Middle-East & Africa, and North and South America, and consistently achieve higher adoption rates, faster with frequent customer interaction by delivering subscribers a superior self-service user experience.
"CheckFree has a long track record of supporting billers in deepening their online relationships with its business and consumer-based electronic billing software and services," said John Hughes, executive vice president, Netonomy, Inc. "CheckFree's expertise in delivering solutions across many industry verticals makes them the ideal partner to broaden the reach of our customer self-service technology and deliver expanded capabilities to billing organizations. For billers, the CheckFree-Netonomy partnership represents the broadest combined customer self-service, provisioning and e-billing offering available today. This is a clear statement of CheckFree and Netonomy's commitment to leading the billing industry's vision for the coming years."
"Netonomy's industry-leading analytical customer self-service capabilities strengthen CheckFree's reliable, best-in-class electronic billing software. When a bill is online, interactive and self-service enabled, it becomes a window into more cross-sales, lower service costs and enhanced communication," said Matt Lewis, executive vice president, CheckFree Corporation. "The Netonomy partnership gives our customers all of these capabilities combined with CheckFree's world-class reliability. This balance is critical, because advanced features are irrelevant if the service does not operate at the highest level of quality."
Netonomy is the leader in customer self-service solutions, providing online account management, e-Commerce and electronic bill analysis for the communications industry. The MyNetonomy customer self-service application suite allows consumers, business customers and POS employees to activate and manage subscriptions, buy new products and services, review, investigate and pay bills, resolve problems, and analyze every aspect of the service relationship using virtually any communications device.
MyNetonomy enables network operators and service providers to achieve higher adoption rates faster with frequent customer interaction by delivering customers a superior self-service user experience. This enables Netonomy customers to realize the maximum business benefits from CSS as fast as possible -- dramatically reducing the cost of customer interaction while improving customer service and increasing sales. Netonomy customers include innovative and market leading operators like: Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR and Vodafone.
With dual headquarters in Boston and Paris, and sales and support offices in London, Rotterdam, Singapore and Sydney, Netonomy partners with industry- leading system integrators and application software vendors to produce complete solutions for the communications sector. For more information, please visit netonomy.com . . .
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|To: StocksMan who wrote (20286)||12/20/2004 9:15:56 AM|
|CheckFree to Host Conference Call|
Monday December 20, 9:00 am ET
ATLANTA, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- On Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. EST, CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR - News), will host a conference call to review second quarter results. The results will be released on Thursday, January 20, at 4:00 p.m. EST.
To phone into the conference, dial 1-877-232-1067 any time after 4:45 p.m. EST and ask for the CheckFree conference call. All participants can also access the conference call via the Web by visiting checkfreecorp.com .
If you are unable to join the conference call, it will be available on digital replay after 7:00 p.m. EST on January 20 at checkfreecorp.com .
* CheckFree conference call
* 5:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, January 20, 2005
* Conference call number 1-877-232-1067 or http:/www.checkfreecorp.com
* Digital replay available at http:/www.checkfreecorp.com
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|To: StocksMan who wrote (20287)||1/4/2005 4:31:25 PM|
|CheckFree Corporation Utilizes eFORCE Quality Management Assessment for Improved Quality Assurance|
Tuesday January 4, 11:30 am ET
Financial e-Commerce Leader Employs System Integrator's Quality Management Service to Identify Optimal Global Quality Assurance Process
HAYWARD, Calif., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- eFORCE (www.eforceglobal.com), a leading provider of full lifecycle IT solutions leveraging the Global Delivery Model, has announced a new client relationship under its Quality Management Practice. CheckFree (Nasdaq: CKFR - News), a leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products, selected eFORCE to audit the company's division-wide Software Quality Assurance (SQA) capabilities. The audit will leverage the eFORCE proprietary SQA Assessment Framework(TM) to optimize software engineering processes used by CheckFree's SQA Department, consistent with the department's interaction with the company's extended software development organization.
CheckFree provides comprehensive electronic billing and payment solutions that enable over 15 million consumers to receive and pay bills online. CheckFree is the service provider behind the electronic billing and payment services of more than 1,400 banks, credit unions, brokerage sites and financial portals including Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, SouthTrust, NetBank, Charles Schwab, Yahoo! and MSN.
"CheckFree has applied Sigma quality methodology to financial services since 1999, with a company-wide commitment to operational efficiency and a high quality customer experience, so the opportunity to further enhance our software development and quality assurance processes was very attractive to us," said Van Williams, senior vice president of Product Development, CheckFree. "Our close collaboration with eFORCE, an expert in application development, migration, integration and quality management, gives CheckFree access to key advisory and auditing services, particularly in the area of quality best practices."
eFORCE's SQA Assessment Framework, based on the industry standard TMM (Testing Maturity Model) assessment methodology, will be used to audit CheckFree's current SQA capabilities. Focused on streamlining the company's testing and quality assurance systems, CheckFree and eFORCE personnel will work closely to review high-end technology architecture/strategy, business analysis and program management office (PMO) components, as well as specialized performance engineering and quality engineering services.
The eFORCE Quality Management Practice provides clients with advisory and support services that help them implement proactive quality initiatives, reduce the cost of achieving quality, and remediate products/solutions with quality issues.
"For over 20 years, CheckFree has set the standard for leadership, innovation and quality in the financial electronic commerce industry," said Nat Natraj, president and chief executive officer, eFORCE. "Our role as a quality advisor to CheckFree is based on a mutual commitment to the highest quality standards and cost containment."
In addition to its Quality Management Practice, eFORCE offers related services such as its Software Product Engineering and Quality Assurance Service (SPEQS). The multi-discipline, standards-based SPEQS practice enables organizations to reap the benefits of offshore application development without compromising quality or schedules. Consisting of development centers in the U.S., U.K., and India, SPEQS supports research & development, prototyping, technology evaluation and benchmarking; full lifecycle product development; porting/sustenance engineering; release management; integrated software quality assurance model; product support; and documentation. SPEQS has grown rapidly with new clients such as WorldGroup and Annexient. . .
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|To: StocksMan who wrote (20288)||1/11/2005 6:36:24 PM|
|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. . .
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