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Wells Fargo Inks Online Banking And EBPP Pact With CheckFree

CheckFree's service will help Wells Fargo realize its goal of becoming the only place where customers can receive their electronic bills, set up e-mail alerts, make payments to anyone, and generate reports on bills and/or payments.

Wells Fargo & Company, San Francisco, has signed a multi-year contract with CheckFree to provide online banking, e-billing and payment processing services for the bank's Web users.

CheckFree has been providing online banking and electronic payment services to Wells Fargo since 1996, and this agreement, which includes monthly revenue commitments, will allow CheckFree to participate in Wells Fargo's latest version of its popular bill pay service. CheckFree's services will help offer increased Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) options for customers, alongside Wells Fargo's other partners including MasterCard RPPS, Metavante and Spectrum.

Wells Fargo aims to provide a single place where customers can receive their electronic bills, set up e-mail alerts, make payments to anyone, and generate reports on bills and/or payments. Through the new Online Bill Pay Service, Wells Fargo is allowing customers to access all this enhanced functionality through a single sign-on with one user I.D. and password. The relationship with CheckFree will give Wells Fargo customers access to CheckFree's network of more than 200 national and regional billers.

"Wells Fargo is committed to offering as many e-bills as possible to our customers. Continuing our relationship with CheckFree and integrating them into our new platform was an important next step in providing our customers with the most convenient bill pay options available," said Avid Modjtabai, executive vice president, Wells Fargo Consumer Internet Services. "Customers can now get their bills from multiple providers in one place, while also gaining integrated reporting, increased categorization options, and additional money management features."

Wells Fargo today has three million active online users--nearly a third of whom are doing Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment processing through Wells Fargo.

"CheckFree views this new phase of our relationship with Wells Fargo as one that presents a number of significant opportunities," said Matt Lewis, executive vice president, CheckFree. "We look forward to bringing our full range of services, backed by our commitment to Sigma-level quality, to Wells Fargo customers at their trusted financial institution site. For our billers, this extends distribution to Wells Fargo's three million online customers."

According to several leading research firms, consumers overwhelmingly prefer viewing and paying bills from their online banks, rather than other sources including portals and personal financial software. With banks generating 31 percent of recurring bills, online bill pay is a natural extension of the process--giving customers access to anytime, anywhere bill payment.

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