— CheckFree ACH Solutions and Wausau Financial Systems providing ARC Check Conversion services today to billers —
ATLANTA, MOSINEE, Wis., and SEATTLE, March 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Payments 2004 Booth 900 — CheckFree ACH Solutions, a business unit of CheckFree Corporation (NASDAQ:CKFR), and Wausau Financial Systems (WFS), a leading provider of payment processing solutions, today announced that the companies have integrated CheckFree’s accounts receivable conversion (ARC) software solution, PEP+ reACH(TM), with WFS’ ImageRPS remittance platform to provide ARC services to WFS’ billing customers.
WFS has been building its leadership position for remittance processing solutions for more than 10 years. Over the past four years, WFS has seen customer interest in check conversion implementations rise dramatically. In order to meet this growing demand, WFS leveraged their experience as the first remittance solution vendor to implement an ARC solution. The WFS software platform processed the first live ARC transactions in the United States and has originated nearly 50 percent of all ARCs since its inception in March 2002.
“Wausau Financial Systems strives to anticipate the evolving payment processing needs of our customers, and ARC is a payment technology that is top of mind for our clients,” stated Dave LeBeau, EVP of Marketing and Product Development with WFS. “With this initiative, many of our large billing customers have realized the benefits that ARC provides. The relationship with CheckFree is helping us move the market forward with a high-quality solution built on CheckFree’s advanced decision logic, optimized processing models and full-service conversion management and exception handling. And through future reseller and referral efforts, the stage has been set for additional partner endeavors — providing customers with a true total clearing solution.”
CheckFree leverages more than 20 years of electronic bill payment experience with its PEP+ reACH ARC solution. At the core of this solution is CheckFree’s Financial Institution File (FIF) for ARC eligibility and conversion processes. For more than two decades, consumers have sent voided checks to CheckFree as source information for generating payments primarily to billers where the ACH was the preferred method for remittance clearing. The ARC process flow parallels the same general process as electronic bill payment. As a result of the CheckFree Financial Institution File, billers can operate at the highest levels of efficiencies for ARC conversion by maximizing the total number of eligible items converted and minimizing the number of returns due to administrative reasons.
“Wausau Financial Systems represents the type of industry leader that will enable CheckFree to drive the continued adoption of ARC services for billing organizations,” said Denny Oswalt, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CheckFree’s ACH Solutions Group. “With WFS’ leadership in remittance processing, we see a unique opportunity to provide an even greater value to those billers who are already using ARC or are planning to implement a solution. This value is derived from the high precision and quality that our transaction intelligence database delivers, along with advanced collection schedules through our hosted ARC processing model.”
With the development already completed, both companies report that billers are already in the implementation phase with the joint solution. This integration of solutions will expedite the installation for billers, allowing them to reap the benefits sooner. This speed-to-market is important in light of recent changes in payment strategies, since ARC provides a proven solution that can jump start a company’s check electronification strategy today.
About Wausau Financial Systems ( www.wausaufs.com )
Wausau Financial Systems (WFS) is the recognized leader in the development and implementation of knowledge-based products for the payment and transaction processing industry. WFS provides transaction-processing applications for all size companies ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to independent local financial institutions and commercial businesses worldwide. In addition to software and hardware options, the company offers comprehensive training, consultation, international image solutions, a unique associate reseller channel, 24-hour customer support, consumable supplies, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Currently, WFS employs nearly 400 associates supporting over 650 customer sites worldwide.
About CheckFree ( www.checkfreecorp.com )
CheckFree (NASDAQ:CKFR) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded in 1981 and celebrating its 23rd year in e-commerce, CheckFree is comprised of three divisions: Electronic Commerce, Software, and Investment Services. CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution in 1997. In the quarter ended December 31, 2003, more than 12 million consumers initiated online payments through services offered by CheckFree’s Electronic Commerce division. Electronic billing and payment is available through more than a thousand financial services organizations, including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and personal financial management (PFM) software. At these sites, consumers are able to electronically receive and pay essentially all the bills most common to a U.S. household. CheckFree delivers 18.5 million e-bills each quarter. CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management services to thousands of financial institutions nationwide. The division’s clients manage more than 1.4 million portfolios totaling more than $700 billion in assets. CheckFree’s Software division provides solutions through three operating units: CheckFree ACH Solutions, CheckFree Financial and Compliance Solutions (CFACS), and CheckFree i-Solutions. CheckFree ACH Solutions provides software and services that are used to process more than two-thirds of the nation’s nine billion Automated Clearing House payments, while CFACS provides reconciliation, financial messaging, workflow and compliance software and services to more than 600 organizations in the banking, brokerage, investment management, insurance and credit card industries, among others. CheckFree i-Solutions is the leading provider of e- billing and e-statement software and services for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business applications.
Certain of CheckFree’s statements in this press release are not purely historical, and as such are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements regarding management’s intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations or projections of the future. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, the various risks inherent in CheckFree’s business, and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in CheckFree’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including CheckFree’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2003 (filed September 15, 2003), and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2003 (filed November 13, 2003) and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 31, 2003 (filed February 12, 2004). One or more of these factors have affected, and could in the future affect CheckFree’s business and financial results in future periods, and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans and projections. There can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements made in this press release will prove to be accurate, and issuance of such forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by CheckFree, or any other person, that the objectives and plans of CheckFree will be achieved. All forward- looking statements made in this press release are based on information presently available to management, and CheckFree assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.