Fincentric, Paytrust team to provide online financial services

Financial institutions looking to add electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) to their wealth management and retail banking services might want to take note of the recent partnership between Vancouver-based Fincentric Corp. and Lawrenceville, N.J.-based Paytrust.

The agreement means Fincentric, a financial service and software firm, and Paytrust, an e-commerce service provider, will offer “high-touch” EBPP technology, wealth management, and online bill payment as a value-added service to banks, insurance companies and other financial sectors.

Specifically, i-Wealthview, Fincentric’s enterprise wealth management system, will manage front-office and back-office operations, including Internet banking, ATMs, wireless devices and other core processing and delivery channels, the companies said.

Using Paytrust’s e-com platform, i-Wealthview allows customers and corporations to receive and organize bills online, the companies said, and noted that the solution’s marketing capabilities are designed to boost customer profitability and retention. Subscribers can issue payments directly from a chequing account and download billing and payment information to their own financial management software, the companies added.

The i-Wealthview tool presents a consolidated view of a customer’s portfolio- Paytrust adds to this by offering a single online destination to receive and pay bills online, said Paytrust founder and executive vice-president Edward McLaughlin. The partnership offers Fincentric’s wealth management customers “complete” bill management services, McLaughlin added.

John Bagdon, Fincentric director of business development in Orlando, Fla., said that Paytrust was chosen as a partner primarily for their technology and product capabilities.

“Most of our customers deliver a bill payment service to their customer…the bottom line is most have a very basic form of electronic bill payment (system),” Bagdon said, adding the solution allows automatic chequebook balancing and bill notifications via e-mail Customers can also review billing information over the Internet.

“The role we play is really to be able to enable our customer’s customer to initiate those kinds of activities or to validate the bill being presented to them is correct.”

Penny Gillespie, senior industry analyst at Giga Information Group Inc. in Centerville, Va., noted that while EBPP is among the best ways of utilizing e-commerce to manage money or resources, adoption has been slow but steadily improving, particularly on the consumer side.

“In general, whether you’re talking about electronic presentment or any kind of online service, what we are going to start seeing is more value-added services as an enticement to lure consumers. If you think about the issues from the consumer perspective with EBPP, there is still some struggle and search for the value proposition,” Gillespie said.

“Any time you ask consumers to change behaviour you are looking at the need for higher marketing dollar expenditures, and really there has been very little until recently in EBPP. The online process has to be at least as good, if not better than as the physical,” she said.

“When you move from the corporate world vs. the consumer world the built-in value-add is on the payer as well as on the payee side. Where the company would get an invoice where they would have to manually keypunch that invoice into their accounts payable or their ERP application, they are now getting electronic data file they can simply download.” Gillespie said.

EBPP also has potential uses outside of the financial industry, Gillespie said, adding that it’s a possible fit with enterprises in sectors such as telecommunications, utilities, chemical and manufacturing. “The value recognition of getting a electronic invoice and bypassing the manual data entry step – there’s been a lot of interest.”