Since banks are among the top producers of bills in the United States, most would welcome a system that could easily transform bills and statements into documents that consumers can review on a bank's Web site. If banks could use this system to cross-sell products and services, so much the better.

Two software providers, INSCI Corp., based in Westborough, MA, and eDocs, Inc., of Westlake Village, CA, have developed such a system, which combines INSCI's Coinserv high volume digital document repositories with eDocs' BillDirect Internet billing system to deliver documents on-line. Coinserv preserves documents in easily retrievable digital form. BillDirect gives customers access to this information in a consumer friendly way. Its one-click bill payment option uses payment technology from CyberCash.

The combined systems can produce "significant hard dollar savings," says Kevin Laracey, president of eDocs. "By enabling electronic presentment and payment, the Coinserv/BillDirect combination allows banks to reduce remittance processing, customer service, printing and mailing costs." As more consumers are drawn to a bank's Web site to pay bills, the bank can weave personalized cross-sell content in and around each bill or statement, he says.

The high-speed transactions save money. With bills delivered to customers via e-mail or through their Web browsers, outbound float, resulting from the time it takes to deliver the billing obligation to the consumer, can be reduced by several days. Inbound float, a product of the time it takes to process the payment, can also be reduced. Laracey cites a recent report that estimated a one-day reduction in float economy-wide would generate annual savings of $300 million.

BillDirect's link with CyberCash, meanwhile, gives a bank the opportunity to become a provider of processing services for electronic check and credit card bill payments, says Laracey. "The CyberCash component of BillDirect connects billers' EFT requests for payments to a bank's existing processing systems. Banks can therefore deepen their relationship with billers and avoid losing new on-line business to third party processors, such as occurred with 75 percent of electronic draft captures."

-peterson tfn.com

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