Itacable launches B2B e-billing service in Italy

Source: CheckFree Corporation

CheckFree Software, a business of CheckFree Corporation (NASDAQ:CKFR) , today announced that Itacable, a leading provider of Internet-based direct marketing and payments services, has gone live with Italy's first business-to-business electronic invoice and payment (EIP) service, named ItaLock.

The new service is based on the industry-leading CheckFree i-Series software platform and was implemented locally with the support of CheckFree's Italian partner Selesta S.p.A., one of the largest dedicated suppliers of electronic billing and payment (EBP) solutions in Italy.

Itacable provides leading-edge direct marketing, data management and Web-based publishing services to the Italian and global markets. The company also handles payments and loyalty programmes for several credit card issuers in Italy. As Italy's first dedicated B2B biller service provider (BSP), Itacable is adding e-billing as a strategic and complementary fit for its core business management services. In addition to Itacable's existing customers, including Barclays Bank, Nokia and Alliance Insurance, the company plans to promote the new service to potential biller-customers in telecommunications, utilities, financial services, manufacturing, transport and publishing.

Says Gianmarco Fedi, Itacable's managing director: "E-billing adds a whole new dimension to our CRM and marketing activities, generating valuable new customer-centric data. As the first service of its kind in the country, e-billing also gives us an exciting new flagship offering with which to open up additional markets."

The decision to go with Selesta and CheckFree was straightforward. According to Mr. Fedi: "Selesta is the only Italian solution provider that is offering e-billing and CheckFree provides the most comprehensive technology suite available on the market today. We are particularly impressed with the flexibility of CheckFree i-Series, its data handling capabilities and the CheckFree i-Series Payment module with its data warehouse tools to support the payment process. CheckFree's Market Direct module will also enable us to leverage our CRM data to deliver customised marketing content with the bill. A speedy initial deployment in under three months has assured us a front-line position in this new market in Italy."

Mr. Fedi continued: "Businesses in Italy are just now beginning to recognise the many benefits e-billing can offer. For corporations, e-billing can streamline the payment process, strengthen their connections with banking networks, reduce bill processing and postage costs and improve their customer services significantly."

Itacable has now begun an aggressive marketing campaign to promote the service across the country. It is quick to point out to potential biller clients that as an outsourced service, Itacable can offer a fast, no-risk way of entering the market, requiring minimal up-front investment and no in-house EIP expertise.

Mr. Adriano Prefumo, founder and President of Selesta SpA says, "the choice of Itacable as a BSP in close partnership with Selesta confirms our capacity to propose innovative solutions of important international level suppliers to the market, such as the CheckFree i-Series platform. I also think that the current legislative and cultural evolution of the Italian market on the theme of EIP is an important chance for Itacable and Selesta to operate successfully in a best of breed way."

Comments Randy McCoy, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CheckFree Software: "This is a highly significant event for the e-billing industry in Italy. Our partner, Selesta, is Italy's first technology integrator to offer a comprehensive suite of e-billing solutions, and Itacable is the first BSP to bring that range of services to market. Underpinning these "firsts" is CheckFree's world-class technology and proven EBP/EIP deployment expertise."

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