The Banking Industry Technology Secretariat, known as BITS, announced Thursday that it would accept comments for 30 days on new a on-line banking specification it has published.

The Interactive Financial Exchange messaging specification unites two previously competing specifications. An important component of the new spec, known as IFX for short, is its support of interoperable bill payment and presentment.

The aim is to ensure that all billers and consumers would be able to send, receive, and pay bills electronically, regardless of the service providers they use. More than 20 organizations participated in the development of the bill payment and presentment spec through BITS' InteroperaBill working group. These included AT&T, Wells Fargo, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citigroup, Bank of America, Checkfree Corp., Integrion, and Transpoint.

BITS is a division of the Bankers Roundtable, an organization of the 125 largest banks in the country.

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