Magazine article American Banker

ATM Company Patents Bill Payment System

Magazine article American Banker

ATM Company Patents Bill Payment System

Article excerpt

ATM Communications International, based in Wilmington, Del., has been granted a patent for a system that can enable standard automated teller machines to deliver bill payment services.

The system is anchored by electronic mailboxes that would reside on computers at regional electronic funds transfer networks. ATM cardholders could access their mailboxes, which would both receive billing information and allow cardholders to make payments, through any ATM in the network.

ATM Communications views the mailboxes as an alternative to home banking products for personal computers and screen-based phones.

"Home bill payment is coming down the line, but the terminals that will deliver this service are not really in place yet," said Hugo Vajk, president of ATM Communications.

Step Toward Home Banking

Mr. Vajk said he believes that delivering bill payment services through ATMs is, at the least, an interim step toward home banking that "make use of the investment banks have already made in ATMs."

There are currently about 94,000 automated teller machine terminals installed in the United States, most of which are usable by the roughly 65% of banking customers that have ATM cards.

In the ATM Communications system, the option to access an electronic mailbox would become part of the menu of transactions presented to a cardholder after the personal identification number is entered.

A cardholder who wants to access the mailbox would be prompted to key in an additional password. …

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