E-route inc., an electronic bill presentment venture owned by a group of Canadian banks, signed a 10-year contract with BCE Emergis for services related to the delivery of bills over the Internet.

The contract confirms a relationship announced earlier this year between the banking group and BCE Emergis, a Canadian telecommunications and electronic commerce company.

The two companies plan to launch an electronic bill presentment pilot this fall and roll out the service by the spring.

BCE Emergis will run the technical aspects of the project using software from its partners, Microsoft Canada and Transpoint. The service will let customers receive and pay bills from participating billers through participating banks' Web sites.

Canada Trust, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Mouvement des Caisses Desjardins, National Bank of Canada, and TD Bank Financial Group are members of e-route, which was established in 1998.

The first billers to participate in the program are TD Visa, National Bank MasterCard, Royal Bank Visa, and Bell Canada.

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