Checkfree Corp. in the next few weeks expects to begin selling a service that lets consumers both receive and pay bills electronically.
The service, to be known as E-Bill, will be marketed to financial institutions, which can make it part of their Web-based offerings. Consumer users would log onto their bank's Web site and click on icons leading to a page with video versions of bills and blank "checks."
By connecting so-called electronic bill presentment and automated bill payment services, Norcross, Ga.-based Checkfree hopes to generate new volumes of transactions for its processing business.
Peter J. Kight, Checkfree's president, chairman, and chief executive officer, said the company is in discussions with several banks that wish to use the service, but he declined to name them.
A handful of merchants-including some utilities and at least one mortgage company-have participated in a pilot of the bill services. Mr. Kight said convincing more merchants to participate should not be a problem.
"The merchants, quite frankly, are lined up to do this," he said in a recent interview.
Anticipating new volumes of bill payment transactions from this and other projects, Checkfree is consolidating and streamlining its processing operations.