CheckFree i-Solutions, the leading provider of interactive e-billing and e-statement applications and part of CheckFree Corporation announced that a unit of Williams will pilot the use of the CheckFree i-Series 4.0 software platform to deliver bills online to business customers.
Using the latest version of the i-Series software, Williams’ energy marketing and trading unit expects to improve customer satisfaction while reducing costs associated with traditional business-to-business billing.
CheckFree’s i-Series 4.0 software eliminates the need for printing and mailing itemized paper bills. CheckFree’s Business Process Rules Support can streamline customer follow-up efforts as well as increase the speed at which bill payments are remitted.
“Electronic bill presentment soon will become a customer service given in the business-to-business environment,” said Iris Bryant, director of customer relationship management for Williams’ energy services group. “Williams selected CheckFree as part of our larger initiative to provide our customers with web-enabled service options. We’re looking forward to a successful rollout and are excited about the possibilities for our customers.”
According to a November 2000 GartnerGroup survey of more than 100 U.S. non-service enterprises with annual revenues ranging from $100 million to $5 billion, business process improvements such as reduced billing costs, faster cash flow and an improved bill review, dispute and payment processes are critical to the success of large-scale organizations’ B2B initiatives. For instance, sellers expect to lower the typical cost of producing a paper bill or invoice from $5 to $1.65 by reducing labor, postage, paper and equipment expenses through implementing a B2B electronic billing and payment solution. In addition, these sellers also expect to cut in half the average fully loaded cost of manually resolving a bill or invoice dispute from $20 per live call to $10 for a bill dispute that is handled online. More than 10 percent of business bills or invoices are disputed today, according to a January 2001 Gartner report.
With i-Series 4.0, CheckFree i-Solutions delivers to billing organizations a full-scale platform and the ability to interface with Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning applications as well as an interface to Cognos(R)’ Online Analytical Processing application, PowerPlay, for browser-based, detailed analysis of bills and statements. CheckFree i-Series also offers industry-specific snap-on modules enabling payers to intelligently review, adjust, restate charges, approve and pay bills and invoices online. Vertical-specific modules address the needs of utilities, telcos, insurance, and financial services, including banking and brokerage bills and statements.
“As one of the first organizations to use CheckFree i-Series 4.0 for a business-to-business online billing solution, Williams will be able to more rapidly deploy these solutions in a cost-effective manner, while integrating the software with its existing back-end IT infrastructure,” said Tom Stampiglia, president of CheckFree i-Solutions.
Williams’ energy marketing and trading unit buys, sells and transports a full suite of energy commodities. The group handles approximately $250 billion in energy transactions each year. Williams offers its customers online access to view invoices, deal confirmations and market analyses, conduct volume checkouts, resolve questions, and manage account information through the secure online system.
About Williams (NYSE: WMB)
Williams, through its subsidiaries, connects businesses to energy, delivering innovative, reliable products and services. Williams’ information is available at [www.williams.com].
About CheckFree i-Solutions
As a software group within CheckFree Corporation, CheckFree i-Solutions is the leading provider of end-to-end business-to-consumer and business-to-business solutions for e-billing and payment and e-statement delivery. CheckFree i-Solutions offers CheckFree i-Series software for e-bill and e-statement creation, i-Processing services that include payment and distribution through more than 300 financial services sites and customer care, and i-Hosting services that accommodate self-hosting or outsourcing. With 271 billers under contract, CheckFree i-Solutions is committed to helping billers, financial services organizations and biller service providers leverage electronic bills and statements as interactive conduits to customer relationship management, marketing and customer self service applications.
About CheckFree ([www.checkfree.com])
CheckFree (NASDAQ: CKFR) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded in 1981 and celebrating its 20th year in e-commerce, CheckFree is comprised of three divisions: Electronic Commerce, Software, and Investment Services. CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution in 1997. As of June 30, 2001, CheckFree’s Electronic Commerce division enabled more than 5.2 million consumers to receive and pay bills electronically. The company has multi-year contracts with 271 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through more than 300 financial services organizations, including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management services to thousands of financial institutions nationwide. The division’s clients manage more than 1,150,000 portfolios totaling more than $500 billion in assets.
CheckFree’s Software division provides solutions through three operating units: CheckFree ACH Solutions, CheckFree Financial and Compliance Solutions (CFACS), and CheckFree i-Solutions. CheckFree i-Solutions is the leading provider of e-billing and e-statement software and hosting services for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business applications, with more billers as clients than all of its competitors have combined. CheckFree ACH Solutions provides software and services that are used to process more than two-thirds of the nation’s six billion Automated Clearing House payments, while CFACS provides reconciliation and compliance software and services to more than 400 organizations in the banking, brokerage, utility, retail, insurance and credit card industries, among others.