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Wachovia offers BillingZone, an electronic invoice presentment and payment service, to its corporate clients; National Bank of Canada signs a multi-year contract with eScout, an e-business services provider; U.S. Bancorp takes an ownership position in Viewpointe Archive Services.

Wachovia will offer BillingZone, a business-to-business (B2B) electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) service from Pittsburgh-based BillingZone LLC., to its corporate clients as part of its growing suite of e-commerce and integrated payables and receivables solutions.

With BillingZone, Wachovia's corporate clients will be able to present invoices electronically to their customers, who can then review, approve and pay each invoice online. Wachovia's corporate clients can benefit from an expedited revenue collection process, improved customer service and reduced costs associated with the invoicing and payment process.

Clients will also have the option to use BillingZone's Web-based tools to manage their accounts payable process, including complete integration with their existing payables system.

"Our strategic alliance with BillingZone enables us to provide our corporate clients with value-added technology and a cost-effective electronic solution to meet their accounts receivable and payable challenges," said Mark Havlik, senior vice president and manager of Global Electronic Payments for Wachovia. "Our treasury management clients will have access to a single, comprehensive solution to meet their billing, payment and collection requirements. This relationship with BillingZone is another step forward in helping our clients automate and streamline the expensive paper processes that exist across the financial supply chain."


National Bank of Canada has signed a multi-year contract with eScout, a Kansas City, Mo.-based e-business services provider, to supply new e-commerce solutions for the institution's commercial clients.

For example, billing and payment solutions, electronic auctions and connectivity to internal management systems such as SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft will soon be accessible in one integrated product for companies of all sizes.

The eScout platform also offers easy navigation, an efficient product search engine and effective supplier catalogue management to businesses served by the Bank. SMEs will benefit from the advantages offered by e-commerce thanks to the Bank's public business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, where suppliers offering general business products will present their catalogues.

The eScout platform also supports a variety of public and private marketplaces in Canada and integrates master agreements signed between a company and its suppliers.

"National Bank of Canada feels that the Internet offers a high growth potential and therefore wants to stay at the forefront of technology by offering increasingly high-quality solutions to its clients," said Michel Lozeau, senior vice-president of e-commerce at National Bank of Canada. "eScout specializes in e-commerce solutions and is 12 months ahead of its competitors."


U.S. Bancorp has taken an ownership position in Viewpointe Archive Services and concurrently signed a long-term agreement to implement Viewpointe's check image archiving technology.

As a result, U.S. Bancorp will join Viewpointe's partners J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, SunTrust Bank and IBM as an owner in the company.

Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Viewpointe's imaging services will provide U.S. Bancorp the ability to better service customers by providing immediate access to their check information through all channels. In addition, imaging services will enable U.S. Bancorp to more efficiently process and store check information. Ultimately U.S. Bancorp will be able to participate in image exchange--a financial services industry capability that reduces the expense and dependency on the transportation and duplicate processing nature of paper checks.

"Imaging capability will improve our operational efficiencies and dramatically enhance our ability to serve our customers," said William Chenevich, vice chairman of U.S. Bancorp. "The checking side of the financial services business was left behind in the information age until now. With imaging, we will now be able to provide our customers information about all of their banking transactions when and how they want."

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