Magazine article American Banker

Banc One Taking the Plunge into Internet Presentment

Magazine article American Banker

Banc One Taking the Plunge into Internet Presentment

Article excerpt

Banc One Corp. has become the first member of the Integrion home banking consortium to say it will take advantage of newly available bill presentment capabilities.

The Columbus, Ohio, banking company said it will combine electronic bill presentment with other offerings to create a pioneering and fully integrated Internet-based service package.

The early move is characteristic of Banc One, an enthusiastic supporter of Integrion Financial Network, which has 19 owners and has been closely associated with International Business Machines.

Banc One has also moved aggressively toward electronic bill presentment. Still in the formative stages and shaping up as a strategic battleground for banks and system providers, the technology will allow consumers to receive, review, and pay bills over the Internet.

Banc One has not only signed on for Integrion's bill presentment system, which is based on technology provided by Checkfree Corp. of Atlanta. The bank is also one of four financial institutions in the pilot group of MSFDC, the competing joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp.

MSFDC announced last week that Merrill Lynch & Co. had become the first brokerage firm to say it will pilot the system this year.

Bruce Luecke, Banc One's president of interactive delivery services, said it views its involvement with MSFDC as a test separate from Integrion.

"I would consider this (Integrion) the real way that we will do it," Mr. Luecke said last week.

Checkfree, the leading bill payment processor that entered into a formal alliance with Integrion last year, will establish relationships with billers and provide the technical backbone for the Integrion presentment service.

Integrion, meanwhile, will integrate bill presentment into its broader package of electronic services.

Mr. Luecke said Banc One's interest is in "deepening the relationships we have with our customers by continually providing innovative and superior service. ... We will deliver an unparalleled level of choice and flexibility in on-line banking and bill payment."

"No matter who originates the bill-Checkfree, the biller, or MSFDC-it will flow into Integrion's system so that we can present the consumer with a common interface," he added.

"If we are going to service our retail customers in the best way, we have to accept the bill from whomever," Mr. Luecke said, while customers will "never really know who is the middleman presenting the bill."

Banc One and NationsBank were the first to say they would use Integrion's Interactive Financial Services system. The Ohio company's bill presentment intentions may give two-year-old Integrion another boost. Other Integrion member-owners include Banc One merger partner First Chicago NBD Corp., NationsBank partner BankAmerica Corp., Citicorp, Fleet Financial Group, PNC Bank Corp. …

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