Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Internet Banking Coming -- but Not Too Soon -- to a PC near You

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Internet Banking Coming -- but Not Too Soon -- to a PC near You

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The check is no longer in the mail, and if banks and technology companies are successful, soon the bill won't be either.

Beginning early next year, Chase Manhattan will become the first U.S. bank to allow customers to look at and pay bills over the Internet.

Chase customers who choose the online system being offered by Chase and CheckFree won't have paper to deal with. They will be able to gain private access to their accounts, view their statements and pay them, all by using a personal computer. "It's as simple as clicking a mouse," said CheckFree spokesman Matt Lewis. The service will first be marketed to Chase checking account holders who also have a Chase mortgage or credit card, and who do online banking, said James Springer, vice president for electronic commerce business development at Chase. Eventually, it will be pitched to people who have a Chase mortgage or credit card but who do not bank with Chase. By the end of next year, Chase customers will be able to pay not just their Chase accounts, but utility bills, department store charge accounts and other items that require regular payments. "We have 17 billers (signed up) now, twice that many in the active queue and five times that many down the line," Lewis said. Eventually, Chase account holders will be able to enter in one set of instructions to pay a bill at a certain date every month, as long as it comes in under a certain amount. A bill that looks unusual would be flagged for review the next time a customer logs on. Big billers that have master accounts with CheckFree and Chase, like the local electric company, will be paid electronically. Smaller billers, like the neighborhood grocer or paper deliverer, will receive a paper check through the mail, Lewis said. CheckFree introduced the first electronic billing product last March, and a small number of other companies have been billing online for a while. Other bank-and-technology alliances, including MSFDC, a joint venture between Microsoft and First Data, and Integrion, a consortium of big banks with International Business Machines, are developing online billing products. …

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