Don't expect talks between Integrion and Visa Interactive to resume anytime soon. Rumor has it that deal is dead. Talks broke down when Integrion allegedly questioned whether Visa Interactive had the "intellectual capital" to do claims processing settlement to the consortium's satisfaction; if Visa's existing back-office capabilities were sufficient; and whether Visa could present a robust biller database file of merchants and deliver on the promise of home banking, says a source close to the discussions. "Integrion needs to consider: Will (Visa Interactive) help Integrion to the market quicker than IBM will?" Apparently not.

Rather, some suggest that CheckFree is a far more suitable partner for Integrion than Visa Interactive. "CheckFree has spent the past year and a half building probably the most robust bill-pay operation. They've invested, year-to-date, $350 million, including the acquisition of ISC," says an industry source. "You have to look at the dynamics of Integrion: Nine of their banks are current users of CheckFree. My most likely scenario is that you'll see a joint venture between Integrion and CheckFree-not an acquisition."

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