Magazine article American Banker

Checkfree, ADP to Start PC Payment System Aimed at Small Business

Magazine article American Banker

Checkfree, ADP to Start PC Payment System Aimed at Small Business

Article excerpt

Checkfree Corp. has joined with Automatic Data Processing Inc. to develop a PC-based electronic bill payment and banking service for small and middle-market businesses.

The service, to be available by the end of the year, will give businesses access to bank accounts for balance information, account reconciliation, and electronic bill payment capabilities.

"Our combined financial transaction technologies are critical to companies that want to pay anyone, anywhere, anytime, and maximize the use of their funds," said Peter Kight, Checkfree's president and chief executive officer.

While the consumer side of electronic banking currently grabs more attention, electronic banking for small businesses is a lucrative market, company officials said.

According to Oxxford Information Technology Ltd., a data base company that tracks small businesses, the United States is home to nearly 10 million companies with less than $5 million in annual sales.

ADP officials said few of these small businesses have automated their bill paying and banking."We think the potential is there," said Robert Brandes, a senior director with ADP. "Overall, there's not that much penetration among businesses with PC-banking yet."

Mr. Brandes estimated that 70% of companies with less than $10 million in annual sales use accounting software.

Bolstered by this dearth of automation, electronic banking and bill payment services for small businesses is growing by 30% per year and will represent a $4 billion industry by the end of the decade, officials at Checkfree said. …

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