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EBILL -- BACKGROUND INFORMATION

· Internet based electronic bill presentation and payment service.

· First service of this nature in New Zealand.

· Developed by New Zealand Post and US CheckFree Corporation - the only global provider of these services.

· Allows billers and banks to offer enhanced services to their customers without the need to develop their own system and infrastructure, making it an easier and more cost effective way to provide the service.

· Offers billers a cost effective and innovative bill delivery and payment method.

· Integrates with the billers' existing paper based billing and payment reconciliation processes.

· Offers billers direct marketing opportunities to include targeted information or messages with the bill.

· Allows banks to offer customers electronic bill delivery and payment over the Internet under their own brand or as part of their Internet banking channel

· Features a universal (multiple bank, multiple biller) system for customers for bill delivery and payment.

· Simple and easy to use - the service aims to simplify the bill payment process for customers, saving them time and making it easier to manage their finances.

· Customers able to access multiple bills on a single website.

· Customers able to view the details of each account and able to choose how much they will pay and when they want to pay it.

· Internal pilot planned for middle of 1999, launch planned for second half of 1999.

· The billers involved in the pilot are Bank of New Zealand Credit Cards and Saturn Communications. Bank of New Zealand will provide the payment mechanism for the pilot.

· The pilot will involve 200 participants from New Zealand Post, Bank of New Zealand and Saturn Communications.

· Key findings of recent research into the service included:
· 33 per cent of people with access to a PC would strongly consider using the service
· 31 per cent of people without access to a PC would strongly consider using the service
· Key advantages for bill paying over the Internet included convenience/ease (41% of respondents) and speed (30% of respondents)
· The service was perceived to offer the "full service" of both bill delivery and payment. Banks were seen to currently offer only half of this.

EBILL - TECHNICAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION


· The eBill system has been developed using software jointly developed by New Zealand Post and CheckFree Corporation of USA. The software runs on Windows NT servers using Oracle 8 as the database.

· The system consists of four key components:
· consumer interface
· customer care
· biller interface
· payment interface.

· The consumer interface is provided by a MicroSoft IIS web server communicating with the Oracle database using a secure transaction layer developed by CheckFree and New Zealand Post. No consumer information is held on the web server.

· As the security of consumers' financial information is paramount, the web server has a Global Server ID - a certificate issued by Verisign Corporation in USA that allows full 128bit encryption of all traffic between the web browser and the web server.

· The consumer must also log on to the system with a valid consumer-ID and password. Customer care is provided by a purpose built Oracle database application running on Windows 95/98 or Windows NT clients.

· The biller interface allows the transfer of billing and remittance files between eBill and the biller. The interface has been designed to easily accommodate different file formats and transfer methods.

· Payments and reversals are sent to the payment interface, which determines where the payment should be sent and performs any translation of format necessary.

· For the pilot, the eBill system platform consists of two Compaq R1600 dual Pentium II 450 Mhz processors

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