CheckFree Plans E-Billing Service for Smaller Firms

CheckFree Corp. (Nasdaq: CKFR) has announced that it will team up with application service provider Derivion to offer an e-billing service to small and medium-sized companies. The agreement will give CheckFree access to Derivion’s inetBiller and enable Derivion to gain access to a wider number of users.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based Derivion provides such e-billing services as e-mail notification, customer service and payment processing to telecommunications, utility, insurance and financial services companies.

E-Billing Growing

According to a report by GartnerGroup, 40 percent of companies that use the Internet for billing services currently outsource the function. “Use of low-cost and fast-to-implement outsourcing services will grow considerably in the next year,” said Avivah Litan, research director for GartnerGroup Financial Services.

“Over the past six months we have watched Derivion gain significant momentum and recognition with small and mid-tier billers, said CheckFree Executive Vice President Sean Feeney. “Derivion has done an excellent job of reaching a key segment of recurring billers that are looking for a cost-effective solution that can get up and running quickly, with little disruption to their current processes.”

CheckFree, based in Norcross, Georgia, currently offers e-billing products for larger businesses. The company, which was founded in 1981 as an electronic-payment processor, now has contracts with 89 of the top U.S. billers. Its investment services division offers portfolio management and reporting services to investment companies.

E-Billing for the Masses

Derivion says its inetBiller can speed and streamline billing services within 30 days, with no disruption to existing billing operations. The company is hoping the CheckFree agreement will give it greater visibility by linking to Yahoo!, Quicken.com, Charles Schwab, BankOne and others, said company Chief Executive Officer Greg Rable.

Derivion recently received $40 million (US$) in funding from an investment group led by Capital Z Partners.

Today’s agreement is a step toward “creating the momentum needed to take e-billing mainstream,” Derivion chief marketing officer Read Ziegler told the E-Commerce Times. The top 250 billers already have systems in place, automating three to four of the 17 bills a typical consumer gets each month, he said.

Ziegler added that while his company is presently “focused on building the business,” a public offering is “definitely a goal” for the future.

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