CheckFree and Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. , the nation’s largest independent mortgage lender, this week announced an agreement that will provide nearly 2 million Countrywide customers access to online electronic billing and payment through a central Web site of their choice.
Since 1998, Countrywide has offered its customers automated debit via the Countrywide Electronic Payment Service — powered by CheckFree’s robust payment infrastructure. With this new agreement, Countrywide customers will also be able to receive their monthly mortgage statement electronically on their personal computers and pay it with a click of the mouse.
Countrywide’s Web site () currently allows borrowers to access their personal account information online. In early February, Countrywide customers will also have the ability to electronically pay their mortgage via the Countrywide Web site. In the next few months, consumers will be able to send their Countrywide payment electronically by visiting the CheckFree E-Bill(sm) Web site () or the many other financial service providers’ Web sites that offer electronic bill presentment and payment.
“Countrywide prides itself on the technological prowess that has made us one of the top mortgage servicing companies today,” said Tom Boone, managing director of Countrywide. “We continue to adopt the latest innovations, like CheckFree E-Bill, to offer our customers as many options as possible — not only for paying their mortgage, but for managing their overall finances.”
As part of its ongoing commitment to customer service, Countrywide will work to install the self-care component of CheckFree’s third-generation E-Bill product, announced at the recent Retail Delivery Systems trade show in Las Vegas.
According to Matt Lewis, senior vice president of Electronic Commerce Product Management and Marketing for CheckFree, “Bill presentment turns the traditional monthly bill into another powerful tool that can be used to communicate with customers. Billers are able to brand their electronic bills according to their needs and use them to learn as much as they can about their customers via an interactive environment.”
With the signing of Countrywide, CheckFree now has contracts with more than 40 of the nation’s top 100 billers, including Ameren, American Electric Power, AT&T, BellSouth, Boston Edison, Chase Credit Card & Chase Mortgage, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Consumers’ Energy, CUNA Mutual Group, First USA, Florida Power & Light, GPU Energy, HomeSide Lending, International Billing Services, Northeast Utilities (Connecticut Light & Power and Western Massachusetts Electrical Company), Northern Illinois Gas (Nicor), Public Service Company of New Mexico, PGE, Small Business Administration, Southern California Edison, Southern Co., Total System Services Inc. (TSYS), and Washington Water Power.
In addition to billers, CheckFree works with financial service providers such as First Union and Intuit’s Quicken to offer integrated bill presentment and payment. Future Web site launches for CheckFree E-Bill include Bank One, Chase Manhattan Bank and PNC Bank.
Founded in 1969, Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc. originates, purchases, sells and services loans for single-family homes through its primary subsidiary, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. The company is headquartered in Calabasas, Calif., and has nearly 11,000 employees with more than 500 offices across the nation.
Founded in 1981, CheckFree (), the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corp., is the leading provider of electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.5 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure transactions on the Internet.Details