Spectrum to Expand Bill Payment Options

FRAMINGHAM (03/28/2000) - Spectrum EBP LLC, a joint venture between The Chase Manhattan Corp., First Union Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., has unveiled a technology plan to expand bill payment options for consumers and billers.

Spectrum chose Alltel Information Services in Little Rock, Arkansas, and InteliData in Reston, Virginia, to build its service.

Spectrum - which hopes to put banks at the center of the electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) business - unveiled its technology plan to meet the current and future needs of the EBPP marketplace.

Spectrum's announcement comes on the heels of a report released yesterday by International Data Corp. in Framingham, Massachusetts. The report forecasts that the revenues generated by the electronic bill market will grow to $1 billion by 2004, up from $32 million last year.

According to a statement from Spectrum, Alltel and InteliData will develop and implement an International Financial Exchange (IFX)-based EBPP platform, which will allow different networked systems to talk to each other while meeting billers' needs to post bills online. The new service will allow banks to offer consumers a choice of separately designated interest and principle payments on mortgage bills.

"Spectrum's introduction of an IFX switch will push the whole industry forward," Liam Carmody, Spectrum's interim chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Carmody said Spectrum's technology will address many of the deficiencies that have hindered the growth of EBPP.

Spectrum will introduce an Open Financial Exchange (OFX)-based payment payment processing capability in the second quarter of this year. The OFX message standard will meet the needs of financial institution biller service providers and consumer service providers to offer their biller and consumer customers EBPP, according to the statement.

Spectrum said more than 11 financial institutions have signed letters of intent to participate in the network, including Michigan National, Comerica and First Tennessee.

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