BillingZone Gains Superior Knowledge About the EIPP Market; New Data Shows EIPP Market Poised for Major Growth

Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from BillingZone, LLC

    PITTSBURGH, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A ground-breaking independent
 research study commissioned by BillingZone, LLC and focused exclusively on the
 accounts payable function, indicates that Electronic Invoice Presentment and
 Payment (EIPP) is poised for significant adoption among businesses.  In one of
 the largest EIPP payer-focused studies to date that included 1,296 surveys of
 chief financial officers, controllers, accountants, accounts payable
 professionals and office managers, about 60 percent of those polled prefer
 electronic-based systems, and half of all companies surveyed see benefit to
 adopting EIPP.  Results also indicate that nearly one quarter of those
 surveyed would adopt EIPP simply at the request of their major suppliers.
     The desire to enhance operations and increase profitability is leading
 many organizations to consider new business process options such as electronic
 invoice presentment and payment.
     For decades, businesses have employed cumbersome, paper-based systems to
 process and pay invoices.  Even with the advent of ERP systems and other
 technologies, most organizations still devote significant financial and human
 resources to operate their payment processes. But in today's business climate,
 businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to enhance efficiency and reduce
 costs.
     "The pursuit of this knowledge furthers the characterization of
 BillingZone as one of the leaders in the EIPP market.  It is among the first
 consolidated service offerings which has independently performed such valuable
 research for the purposes of driving its business and the EIPP market," said
 Jeetu Patel, executive vice-president of research at Doculabs, Inc., an
 industry analyst firm.
     "Given the importance of payer adoption in the EIPP market, we felt it was
 critical to obtain this depth of knowledge about business payers' requirements
 in an EIPP solution, the industry segments to which EIPP is most valuable, and
 the barriers that must be overcome," said Eric Smith, chief executive officer
 of BillingZone.  "The results are really a confirmation of our continued focus
 on the payers' needs.  Our full-service offering directly addresses these
 needs through the functionality of BillingZone.com(TM) and our customized
 programs designed to accelerate adoption, such as our customer marketing plan
 and the dedicated support of our relationship managers."
     BillingZone offers the only EIPP consolidator model providing buyers with
 the ability to view and pay invoices from participating multiple suppliers
 through one online site.  Commitment to the payables professional is
 fundamental to BillingZone and the service is designed from the ground up to
 make the payables process more efficient.  BillingZone carries this focus
 through all parts of its business including its unique package of marketing
 programs designed to assist suppliers with rapid EIPP adoption among their
 customer base.
 
     EIPP In Action
     In a recent satisfaction survey, current users of BillingZone.com
 confirmed many of the research findings.  "While pleased with the invoices
 they are receiving today, users are eager for more of their suppliers to offer
 BillingZone as an invoicing option so that they can begin to realize even
 greater benefit," said Valerie Kramer, chief operating officer of BillingZone.
 "We also learned that payables professionals find the BillingZone service
 intuitive and easy to use, with the service's features and security rated very
 favorably."
     One customer that regularly uses BillingZone, to pay three of its
 suppliers' invoices, is Fetter Printing Company, based in Louisville, KY.  "We
 have been using BillingZone's EIPP solution since September of 2000 and our
 business is beginning to change as a result.  We are able to operate much more
 efficiently due to BillingZone's speed, simplicity and ease of use," said Bob
 Stearman of Fetter Printing Company. "We particularly like the benefit of
 having access to complete invoice details online and the capacity to schedule
 the payment in advance, which gives us more control over our cash flow."
 
     BillingZone's invoicing and payment process is managed through an easy-to-
 use Web site, BillingZone.com.  The supplier sends invoice data to BillingZone
 for online presentment.  BillingZone then informs the buyer of the invoice
 through e-mail notification.  In response, an authorized buyer logs onto
 BillingZone, reviews the invoice, electronically routes the invoice for
 approval and authorizes payment.  Once the buyer authorizes payment,
 BillingZone forwards payment instructions and the payment is settled via an
 Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction between banks designated by the
 supplier and buyer. Each step of the streamlined process takes seconds, uses
 no paper and shaves time and cost off an ordinarily arduous activity.
 
     About BillingZone, LLC
     BillingZone, LLC offers a business-to-business electronic invoice and
 presentment service that provides businesses a consolidated model for
 presenting and paying invoices on the Internet.  The service is expressly
 designed to meet the needs of corporate billers and payers and provides to
 payers the convenience of paying multiple bills from participating billers at
 one site.  BillingZone helps companies streamline the complexity of invoicing
 and payment processes, realize significant cost savings by eliminating paper
 and manual processes, and speed up the communication between companies and
 their customers. BillingZone, LLC is a joint venture of two industry leaders,
 PNC Bank, N.A., a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:  
 PNC), and Perot Systems Corporation (NYSE:   PER). Please contact BillingZone,
 LLC at 412-705-3000 or via e-mail at info@billingzone.com.  Additional
 information is available on the company's web site at www.billingzone.com.
 
     BillingZone, BillingZone.com and the BillingZone logo are trademarks of
 BillingZone, LLC.
 
     This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the
 meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act with respect to
 BillingZone's anticipated business, including statements regarding the
 expected development and benefits of products.  Forward-looking statements are
 typically identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate,"
 "intend," "estimate," "position," "potential" and "continue," by future or
 conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "could" and "may," or by
 similar expressions.  These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous
 assumptions, risks and uncertainties, all of which change over time. Forward-
 looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and BillingZone,
 LLC, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:   PNC) and Perot Systems
 Corporation (NYSE:   PER) assume no duty to update forward-looking statements.
 
     The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements:
 BillingZone's ability to continue the development, introduction, and
 implementation of its electronic bill presentation and payment service as
 planned; the degree to which billers and payers accept electronic bill
 presentment and paying in general and BillingZone's service in particular;
 BillingZone's ability to attract and to maintain a critical mass of billers
 using its service;  the loss of key personnel;  changes in the competitive
 market in which the service will operate;  the impact, extent, timing, and
 cost of technological changes;  risks associated with the commercial use of
 the Internet generally;  undetected software bugs;  possible product liability
 claims;  possible inability to protect proprietary technology;  and possible
 infringement claims.  BillingZone is a start-up business and, as such, has
 risks associated with the development of a new market, product development,
 and the recruiting and retention of employees.
     Additional factors that can affect forward-looking statements are
 identified in the respective SEC Reports of The PNC Financial Services Group,
 Inc. and Perot Systems Corporation, which reports are accessible on the SEC's
 web site and on the companies' respective web sites.
 
 

SOURCE BillingZone, LLC
    PITTSBURGH, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A ground-breaking independent
 research study commissioned by BillingZone, LLC and focused exclusively on the
 accounts payable function, indicates that Electronic Invoice Presentment and
 Payment (EIPP) is poised for significant adoption among businesses.  In one of
 the largest EIPP payer-focused studies to date that included 1,296 surveys of
 chief financial officers, controllers, accountants, accounts payable
 professionals and office managers, about 60 percent of those polled prefer
 electronic-based systems, and half of all companies surveyed see benefit to
 adopting EIPP.  Results also indicate that nearly one quarter of those
 surveyed would adopt EIPP simply at the request of their major suppliers.
     The desire to enhance operations and increase profitability is leading
 many organizations to consider new business process options such as electronic
 invoice presentment and payment.
     For decades, businesses have employed cumbersome, paper-based systems to
 process and pay invoices.  Even with the advent of ERP systems and other
 technologies, most organizations still devote significant financial and human
 resources to operate their payment processes. But in today's business climate,
 businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to enhance efficiency and reduce
 costs.
     "The pursuit of this knowledge furthers the characterization of
 BillingZone as one of the leaders in the EIPP market.  It is among the first
 consolidated service offerings which has independently performed such valuable
 research for the purposes of driving its business and the EIPP market," said
 Jeetu Patel, executive vice-president of research at Doculabs, Inc., an
 industry analyst firm.
     "Given the importance of payer adoption in the EIPP market, we felt it was
 critical to obtain this depth of knowledge about business payers' requirements
 in an EIPP solution, the industry segments to which EIPP is most valuable, and
 the barriers that must be overcome," said Eric Smith, chief executive officer
 of BillingZone.  "The results are really a confirmation of our continued focus
 on the payers' needs.  Our full-service offering directly addresses these
 needs through the functionality of BillingZone.com(TM) and our customized
 programs designed to accelerate adoption, such as our customer marketing plan
 and the dedicated support of our relationship managers."
     BillingZone offers the only EIPP consolidator model providing buyers with
 the ability to view and pay invoices from participating multiple suppliers
 through one online site.  Commitment to the payables professional is
 fundamental to BillingZone and the service is designed from the ground up to
 make the payables process more efficient.  BillingZone carries this focus
 through all parts of its business including its unique package of marketing
 programs designed to assist suppliers with rapid EIPP adoption among their
 customer base.
 
     EIPP In Action
     In a recent satisfaction survey, current users of BillingZone.com
 confirmed many of the research findings.  "While pleased with the invoices
 they are receiving today, users are eager for more of their suppliers to offer
 BillingZone as an invoicing option so that they can begin to realize even
 greater benefit," said Valerie Kramer, chief operating officer of BillingZone.
 "We also learned that payables professionals find the BillingZone service
 intuitive and easy to use, with the service's features and security rated very
 favorably."
     One customer that regularly uses BillingZone, to pay three of its
 suppliers' invoices, is Fetter Printing Company, based in Louisville, KY.  "We
 have been using BillingZone's EIPP solution since September of 2000 and our
 business is beginning to change as a result.  We are able to operate much more
 efficiently due to BillingZone's speed, simplicity and ease of use," said Bob
 Stearman of Fetter Printing Company. "We particularly like the benefit of
 having access to complete invoice details online and the capacity to schedule
 the payment in advance, which gives us more control over our cash flow."
 
     BillingZone's invoicing and payment process is managed through an easy-to-
 use Web site, BillingZone.com.  The supplier sends invoice data to BillingZone
 for online presentment.  BillingZone then informs the buyer of the invoice
 through e-mail notification.  In response, an authorized buyer logs onto
 BillingZone, reviews the invoice, electronically routes the invoice for
 approval and authorizes payment.  Once the buyer authorizes payment,
 BillingZone forwards payment instructions and the payment is settled via an
 Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction between banks designated by the
 supplier and buyer. Each step of the streamlined process takes seconds, uses
 no paper and shaves time and cost off an ordinarily arduous activity.
 
     About BillingZone, LLC
     BillingZone, LLC offers a business-to-business electronic invoice and
 presentment service that provides businesses a consolidated model for
 presenting and paying invoices on the Internet.  The service is expressly
 designed to meet the needs of corporate billers and payers and provides to
 payers the convenience of paying multiple bills from participating billers at
 one site.  BillingZone helps companies streamline the complexity of invoicing
 and payment processes, realize significant cost savings by eliminating paper
 and manual processes, and speed up the communication between companies and
 their customers. BillingZone, LLC is a joint venture of two industry leaders,
 PNC Bank, N.A., a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:  
 PNC), and Perot Systems Corporation (NYSE:   PER). Please contact BillingZone,
 LLC at 412-705-3000 or via e-mail at info@billingzone.com.  Additional
 information is available on the company's web site at www.billingzone.com.
 
     BillingZone, BillingZone.com and the BillingZone logo are trademarks of
 BillingZone, LLC.
 
     This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the
 meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act with respect to
 BillingZone's anticipated business, including statements regarding the
 expected development and benefits of products.  Forward-looking statements are
 typically identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate,"
 "intend," "estimate," "position," "potential" and "continue," by future or
 conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "could" and "may," or by
 similar expressions.  These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous
 assumptions, risks and uncertainties, all of which change over time. Forward-
 looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and BillingZone,
 LLC, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:   PNC) and Perot Systems
 Corporation (NYSE:   PER) assume no duty to update forward-looking statements.
 
     The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements:
 BillingZone's ability to continue the development, introduction, and
 implementation of its electronic bill presentation and payment service as
 planned; the degree to which billers and payers accept electronic bill
 presentment and paying in general and BillingZone's service in particular;
 BillingZone's ability to attract and to maintain a critical mass of billers
 using its service;  the loss of key personnel;  changes in the competitive
 market in which the service will operate;  the impact, extent, timing, and
 cost of technological changes;  risks associated with the commercial use of
 the Internet generally;  undetected software bugs;  possible product liability
 claims;  possible inability to protect proprietary technology;  and possible
 infringement claims.  BillingZone is a start-up business and, as such, has
 risks associated with the development of a new market, product development,
 and the recruiting and retention of employees.
     Additional factors that can affect forward-looking statements are
 identified in the respective SEC Reports of The PNC Financial Services Group,
 Inc. and Perot Systems Corporation, which reports are accessible on the SEC's
 web site and on the companies' respective web sites.
 
 SOURCE  BillingZone, LLC