PNC, Perot Launch B-to-B E-billing Venture

FRAMINGHAM (03/08/2000) - PNC Bank Corp. and Perot Systems Corp. today announced a 50/50 joint venture that will allow businesses to issue bills and pay them online. PNC said BillingZone will be the first electronic service to target the business market exclusively.

According to a joint statement issued today by Pittsburgh-based PNC and Dallas-based Perot Systems, BillingZone will offer an electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service to business clients. BillingZone will be a one-stop billing and payment site for businesses, the companies said.

"We understand that the business-to-business world differs dramatically from EBPP solutions that are aimed at consumers," Eric Smith, CEO of BillingZone, said in the statement. BillingZone was designed to meet the needs of corporate bill payers and billers.

Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., has projected that business-to-business e-commerce will grow from $43 million in 1999 to $2.4 trillion by 2003. The research firm also predicts that bills presented and paid online will grow from $900 million currently to $73.2 billion in 2003.

Time0, a business unit of Perot, is building BillingZone's digital marketplace platform, scheduled to be released this summer. PNC spokeswoman Susan Barron said BillingZone grew out of a similar initiative between the bank and Xerox Corp. She said about two years ago, PNC worked with Xerox to create an EBPP platform and BillingZone builds on that work. Barron said the companies declined to reveal the exact amount of their investments in the joint venture.

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