First Data Corp. and three partner firms have created EOne Global LP, an independent company that helps banks facilitate Internet business-to-business, person-to-person, business-to-government, and consumer-to-merchant payments.
First Data's partners in the venture are IFormation Group, an independent company created by Goldman Sachs Group; Boston Consulting Group; and General Atlantic Partners LLC.
Wells Fargo & Co., Chase Manhattan Corp., and Wachovia Corp. are among the banking companies marketing EOne of Menlo Park, Calif., to their merchant customers.
EOne, which was formally launched Monday, uses First Data's CashTax technology for business-to-government payments. CashTax, which was created by First Data and Bank of America Corp., currently has two million customers processing over $1 trillion of annual transactions.
Garen K. Staglin, chief executive officer and president of EOne Global, said CashTax handles 20% of all business-to-government payments.
The start-up also uses First Data's SurePay technology, which facilitates business-to-business and consumer-to-merchant payments, and First Data's MoneyZap system, which uses its Western Union platform to help consumers send cash to one another.
EOne also plans to launch a platform to help consumers send money via wireless devices in the fourth quarter.
David P. Bailis, executive vice president of First Data Corp. and a member of EOne's board of directors, said there are shared technologies underlying each of the payment sectors on the Internet, which makes it logical for a single company to offer all of them. "There is a tremendous opportunity to move technology such as the authentication found in CashTax across the payment products."
EOne faces competition from such companies as the 18-month-old X.com, which sells a person-to-person payment platform and is seeking to offer other types, and FinancialSettlementMatrix Inc., a business-to-business payment joint venture whose partners include Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and S1 Corp.
David J. Treinen, EOne's founder and managing director, said there is "competition in each of these sectors, but no one is attacking all four of them, and what we are offering is a breadth and depth of distribution partners with First Data."
EOne is the first project for IFormation, which has made a $135 million investment for a 25% equity stake. First Data, which has a 75% stake, is counting its contribution of SurePay and CashTax as an equity investment of $360 million, and has put in $75 million in cash.
James Van Dyke, a senior analyst at Jupiter Communications in New York, said EOne "competes with anyone doing online payments, and will primarily be a corporate incubator of new payment models."
EOne's "first target is B-to-B, because it is easier to mobilize a thousand users through a single business partner than signing thousands of consumers," he said. "Banks should go to a company like First Data and say, 'You represent a number of us anyway. Would you be a back-end provider of a P-to-P service we launch to our consumers?' "