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CheckFree signs Degussa Bank to Accurate NXG; launches online EFT service

25 July 2006  |  2769 views  |  0 Source: CheckFree

CheckFree (Nasdaq: CKFR) today announced that Degussa Bank GmbH, the German bank owned by ING-DiBa, the direct banking subsidiary of Dutch ING Group NV, has selected CheckFree's Accurate NXG to automate its cash, securities and commission account reconciliations.

CheckFree's Operational Risk Management solution will increase the efficiency of the bank's reconciliations process, enabling it to potentially manage operational risk more effectively.

Built on the four core competencies of reconciliation, exception management, workflow and business intelligence, CheckFree's Accurate NXG will be deployed in Degussa Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. The solution will automate a previously manual reconciliations process that was proving time-consuming and costly. By using a single reconciliation platform from CheckFree, Degussa Bank will ensure data integrity and efficiency across its various transaction types, thereby reducing potential risk throughout the organisation.

With the CheckFree solution, Degussa Bank will improve the investigation and resolution of transaction errors, and ultimately reduce the incidence of errors in the future. CheckFree's Accurate NXG is optimised for reconciliation processing, through multiple match rules, as well as advanced data repair and enrichment capabilities. The solution also drives business reporting to deliver analysis and solid metrics to senior management to improve risk management.

Dirk Van de Velde, vice president, continental Europe at CheckFree Software, said, "Degussa Bank is a key addition to our client portfolio in Europe and reinforces our growing reputation in the German financial services industry. By replacing largely manual processing with our solution, Degussa Bank will not only increase processing efficiencies, but will also free up existing staff to perform more value-added analysis, enabling operational risk to be managed more effectively."

Separately, CheckFree Corporation today introduced a suite of online banking solutions that will help financial institutions reach beyond their traditional brick-and-mortar and geographic footprints by leveraging the Internet to offer new accounts to a broader range of prospective customers.

Consumers - particularly younger adults in Generations X and Y - increasingly expect to be able to perform a variety of financial tasks online - from paying bills to opening new accounts. CheckFree Online Open and CheckFree Online Fund are designed to help consumers establish and fund new accounts, in a matter of minutes. An automated decision-making engine processes the applications based on the financial institution's unique business rules for managing risk, while flagging any exceptions for manual review.

CheckFree Online Transfer enables financial institutions to simplify the transfer of funds between accounts and create new revenue streams by extending their online offerings to include fee-based, intra- and inter- institution fund transfer services between accounts held at more than 23,000 banks, credit unions and brokerages. For example, parents could use Online Transfer to move money from their account to their child's bank account at the same or a different financial institutions to help pay for college expenses.

"With the addition of these compelling self-service online banking solutions alongside our industry-leading electronic billing and payment portfolio, CheckFree is creating unparalleled opportunities for financial institutions to deliver enhanced virtual branch experiences and drive the acquisition and retention of more profitable customers through their branded websites," said Jeff Weikert, senior vice president and consumer service provider (CSP) business unit executive, CheckFree Electronic Commerce division. "It's all part of CheckFree's broader strategy to make complex financial activities easier for businesses and consumers."

These online banking solutions are powered by CashEdge, a leading provider of innovative online financial applications for banks, credit union and wealth management firms. "With its unparalleled distribution network, CheckFree is a powerful force in the electronic billing and payment industry," said CashEdge CEO Sanjeev Dheer. "The combination of CheckFree's industry-leading platform for secure and convenient electronic billing and payment, and CashEdge's innovative payment and account opening products will offer new levels of convenience to financial institution customers."

For financial institutions and their customers, the potential benefits of these solutions are clear. Real-time account opening helps financial institutions compete more effectively for new accounts by dramatically compressing the time, cost and complexity of opening and funding new accounts. With automated solutions, new accounts can be opened online in a matter of minutes in most cases, compared to an industry-standard average of three to five days, according to a September 22, 2005, Aite Group report titled "Online Account Opening Technology: The Last Mile in STP." Aite Group is an independent research and advisory firm serving the financial services industry.

"A natural convergence is taking place between broader online financial services applications such as online account opening and funding and electronic billing and payment solutions, resulting in a suite of comprehensive offerings aligned with banks' acquisition, retention and profitability goals," said Eva Weber, an analyst at Aite Group. "Online account opening and funding applications help reduce the cost per acquisition of new customers, while real-time transfer and electronic billing and payment capabilities help increase retention and build profitability for the bank."

Opening accounts online costs financial institutions only a fraction of the average $65 for offline processing of each new account, according to Aite Group. It helps speed up the flow of funds into new accounts - from five to seven days through traditional processes to just one to three days via online account funding. It is also expected to increase account completion rates - new accounts that are ultimately funded - to a projected 70 percent of submitted applications from the current 10 percent.

Available as stand-alone services from CheckFree, Online Open, Online Fund, and Online Transfer are designed to help financial institutions increase new account completion rates and fully leverage their online channels for customer acquisition and retention.

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