(Nasdaq: CKFR) today introduced a suite of online banking solutions that will
help financial institutions reach beyond their traditional brick-and-mortar
and geographic footprints by leveraging the Internet to offer new accounts to
a broader range of prospective customers.
Consumers - particularly younger adults in Generations X and Y - increasingly
expect to be able to perform a variety of financial tasks online - from paying
bills to opening new accounts. CheckFree Online Open(TM) and CheckFree Online
Fund(TM) are designed to help consumers establish and fund new accounts, in a
matter of minutes. An automated decision-making engine processes the
applications based on the financial institution's unique business rules for
managing risk, while flagging any exceptions for manual review.
CheckFree Online Transfer(TM) enables financial institutions to simplify the
transfer of funds between accounts and create new revenue streams by extending
their online offerings to include fee-based, intra- and inter- institution fund
transfer services between accounts held at more than 23,000 banks, credit unions
and brokerages. For example, parents could use Online Transfer to move money
from their account to their child's bank account at the same or a different
financial institutions to help pay for college expenses.
"With the addition of these compelling self-service online banking
solutions alongside our industry-leading electronic billing and payment
portfolio, CheckFree is creating unparalleled opportunities for financial
institutions to deliver enhanced virtual branch experiences and drive the
acquisition and retention of more profitable customers through their branded
websites," said Jeff Weikert, senior vice president and consumer service
provider (CSP) business unit executive, CheckFree Electronic Commerce division.
"It's all part of CheckFree's broader strategy to make complex financial
activities easier for businesses and consumers."
These online banking solutions are powered by CashEdge, a leading provider of
innovative online financial applications for banks, credit union and wealth
management firms. "With its unparalleled distribution network, CheckFree is
a powerful force in the electronic billing and payment industry," said
CashEdge CEO Sanjeev Dheer. "The combination of CheckFree's
industry-leading platform for secure and convenient electronic billing and
payment, and CashEdge's innovative payment and account opening products will
offer new levels of convenience to financial institution customers."
For financial institutions and their customers, the potential benefits of
these solutions are clear. Real-time account opening helps financial
institutions compete more effectively for new accounts by dramatically
compressing the time, cost and complexity of opening and funding new accounts.
With automated solutions, new accounts can be opened online in a matter of
minutes in most cases, compared to an industry-standard average of three to five
days, according to a September 22, 2005, Aite Group report titled "Online
Account Opening Technology: The Last Mile in STP." Aite Group is an
independent research and advisory firm serving the financial services industry.
"A natural convergence is taking place between broader online financial
services applications such as online account opening and funding and electronic
billing and payment solutions, resulting in a suite of comprehensive offerings
aligned with banks' acquisition, retention and profitability goals," said
Eva Weber, an analyst at Aite Group. "Online account opening and funding
applications help reduce the cost per acquisition of new customers, while
real-time transfer and electronic billing and payment capabilities help increase
retention and build profitability for the bank."
Opening accounts online costs financial institutions only a fraction of the
average $65 for offline processing of each new account, according to Aite Group.
It helps speed up the flow of funds into new accounts - from five to seven days
through traditional processes to just one to three days via online account
funding. It is also expected to increase account completion rates - new accounts
that are ultimately funded - to a projected 70 percent of submitted applications
from the current 10 percent.
Available as stand-alone services from CheckFree, Online Open, Online Fund,
and Online Transfer are designed to help financial institutions increase new
account completion rates and fully leverage their online channels for customer
acquisition and retention.
About CheckFree ( http://www.checkfreecorp.com )
Founded in 1981, CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR) provides financial
electronic commerce services and products to organizations around the world.
CheckFree Electronic Commerce solutions enable thousands of financial services
providers and billers to offer their customers the convenience of receiving and
paying their household bills online or in person through retail outlets.
CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management
solutions and outsourced services to thousands of financial services
organizations, which manage about $1.3 trillion in assets. CheckFree Software
develops, markets and supports software applications that are used by financial
institutions to process more than two-thirds of the 12 billion Automated
Clearing House transactions in the United States. The division also provides
operational risk management, financial messaging, corporate actions, and
regulatory compliance software to more than 1,500 organizations across the