Magazine article American Banker

Wells Fargo Cuts Short Test of a Transpoint Bill System

Magazine article American Banker

Wells Fargo Cuts Short Test of a Transpoint Bill System

Article excerpt

Wells Fargo & Co. temporarily stopped its test of the Transpoint electronic bill presentment system, concluding that its current version "is not the ultimate architecture we plan to implement," said Sharon Osberg, a Wells senior vice president.

The banking company envisions an architecture that "would be built on standards," she said.

The pilot test, originally intended to last about six months and end about now, has been "dark" since just before the holiday season, Ms. Osberg said in an interview.

Wells was the first of eight banking companies testing the system by Transpoint, a bill presentment joint venture of First Data Corp., Microsoft Corp., and Citigroup. Dudley Nigg, now retired from Wells, initiated the project.

Calling standards "an industry issue, not a Transpoint issue," Ms. Osberg said Wells plans to resume testing Transpoint once there is a "substantial upgrade" of the software. Wells also plans to test bill presentment software from Checkfree Corp., she said.

Ms. Osberg said she expects the new Transpoint software, which is to be ready within a month, will have improved bill payment capabilities. The current version, she said, "still is not a vendor solution built on standards" and allowing for "pay-anyone" capabilities.

"The new platform from Transpoint will not get us where we want to be, but we'll be closer" to being able to send bill payments to recipients not able to get them electronically, Ms. Osberg said.

Warren Dent of Denver-based Transpoint said Wells is one of the pilot banks "waiting to look at a much more integrated offering."

Mr. Dent, Transpoint's senior vice president of marketing and business development, said he was "surprised" to hear Transpoint characterized as not built on standards.

"On the bank side, we are working toward using XML and OFX 2. …

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