Checkfree Rolls Out Updated Bill Software

NORCROSS, Ga. - Checkfree Holdings Corp. has announced that the latest version of its bill presentment software is available for banks, brokerages, and other consumer service providers.The 3.0 version of Checkfree's Web Billing and Payment software allows banks and other companies to present electronic bills consolidated by Checkfree to their retail customers. The software allows customers to pay those bills electronically. Consumers can also initiate payments to anyone else whom they would otherwise pay by check.

Checkfree said the new software is easier for consumers to navigate than previous versions. It also allows consumers to track the status of their on-line payments from their bank or brokerage Web sites.


Calif. Smart Card Firm, Baltimore Team on PKI

FREMONT, Calif. - Activcard, which makes smart cards for network security and authentication, said it has linked its Activcard Gold cryptographic system with the public key infrastructure offerings of Baltimore Technologies.The move reflects Activcard's commitment to interoperability with systems developed by other vendors. As a member of Dublin-based Baltimore's PKI World program, Activcard systems can work with Baltimore's Unicert Certificate Authority, PKI Plus software development kit, and MailSecure.


Internet Billing Service Gets $30M in Financing

PRINCETON, N.J. - Secure Commerce Services Inc., which produces the Paytrust.com Internet bill management service, has received $30 million in a second round of financing.New investors in this round are American Express Co.; GE Equity, a subsidiary of General Electric Co.; Goldman Sachs Group; Softbank Venture Capital; and Thomas Weisel Partners.

First round investors AT&T Ventures and Spectrum Equity also participated.

"Paytrust.com is an exciting example of the next generation of e-convenience services, with a proven track record of rapidly delivering innovative technology and real value to consumers," said Gary Rieschel, executive managing director of Softbank Venture Capital's technology funds.

Secure Commerce Services said it would use the funds to expand the marketing and operations of Paytrust.com.

The Web site receives paper bills on behalf of subscribers, scans them into a computer system, and makes electronic versions available for subscribers to view on the Internet. Subscribers can also initiate bill payments.

Secure Commerce Services said it has more than 20,000 subscribers. The company launched the service in June.


CLS Puts Forex Pilot On Hold Until 2000

LONDON - CLS Services Ltd., which was formed in 1996 to tackle the risks associated with foreign exchange settlements, said there are delays in its systems development schedule.The London-based consortium, backed by an influential committee of investment and commercial banks known as the Group of 20, is working with International Business Machines Corp to develop a real-time clearing and settlement bank for foreign exchange transactions.

Sources said a pilot of the system, which had been scheduled for the fourth quarter, has been pushed back to April.

In a press statement, CLS acknowledged a delay and said it is working with IBM to validate the system. CLS said that process would conclude next month.

The system will be available for testing by banks starting in February, CLS said. The initial beta test banks would be Barclays Bank PLC, HSBC Holdings, J.P. Morgan & Co., and UBS.

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