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Technology / AI and automation


IBM Corp has handily coralled a set of major banks together under its electronic banking consortium, the Integrion Financial Network, and now Checkfree Corp is celebrating a contract to provide them all with electronic billing and payment services. Integrion, which has invested in Atlanta, Georgia-based Checkfree, will integrate its Interactive Financial Services and Gold Message Standard electronic commerce software with Checkfree’s processing software, and is expected to complete the work by the first quarter of next year. Integrion is made up of 18 banks and financial institutions including Citibank, Royal Bank of Canada, and First Union National Bank, as well as IBM itself and Visa USA, who have equal 1/20th stakes. Integrion believes between 12 and 15% of US households will be using electronic banking services by the time the agreement expires in 2007. Under the terms of the agreement both companies will continue to develop and support their own customer bases. Financial terms were not disclosed, but it is understood that Integrion will acquire 10-year warrants for 10m Checkfree shares; 3m of which will be delivered within 60 days and the remaining 7m on delivery of certain performance targets.

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