Matav, Hungary's Primary Telecommunication Provider, Takes Lead With National Electronic Billing and Payment Consolidation Service Powered by CheckFree Software
Atlanta and London (ots/PRNewswire)
CheckFree Software, a business of CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR), 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.
About CheckFree ( http://www.checkfreecorp.com )
Founded in 1981, CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR) provides financial electronic commerce services and products to organizations around the world. CheckFree Electronic Commerce solutions enable thousands of financial services providers and billers to offer their customers the convenience of receiving and paying their household bills online or in person through retail outlets. CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management solutions and outsourced services to thousands of financial services organizations, which manage more than US$1 trillion in assets. CheckFree Software develops, markets and supports software applications that are used by financial institutions to process more than two-thirds of the 10 billion Automated Clearing House transactions in the United States. The division also provides reconciliation, financial messaging, compliance and electronic billing and statement software to hundreds of organizations across the globe.
Certain of CheckFree's statements in this press release are not purely historical, and as such are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements regarding management's intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations or projections of the future. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, the various risks inherent in CheckFree's business, and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in CheckFree's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including CheckFree's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2004 (filed September 3, 2004) and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 (filed November 9, 2004). One or more of these factors have affected, and could in the future affect CheckFree's business and financial results in future periods, and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans and projections. There can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements made in this press release will prove to be accurate, and issuance of such forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by CheckFree, or any other person, that the objectives and plans of CheckFree will be achieved. All forward-looking statements made in this press release are based on information presently available to management, and CheckFree assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
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