Intuit, Microsoft And Checkfree Create Open Financial Exchange (Press Release - 1997)

Unified Specification will Connect to Integrion's Gold Standard

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - January 16, 1997 - Microsoft, Intuit, and CheckFree announced today that they are creating a single, unified technical specification, called Open Financial Exchange, that will enable financial institutions to exchange financial data over the Internet with Web users and users of popular software such as Quicken® and Microsoft Money. The Open Financial Exchange specification is the convergence of Microsoft's Open Financial Connectivity, Intuit's OpenExchange, and CheckFree's electronic banking and payment protocols.
In a related development, Intuit, Microsoft, CheckFree and Integrion Financial Network said Open Financial Exchange-enabled software will link with the Integrion Financial Services platform and its Gold Message Standard. Integrion banks will be able to link seamlessly with personal financial management software including Quicken and Microsoft Money, and processors including CheckFree, beginning later this year. The companies also said they intend to converge Open Financial Exchange and Gold into a single specification in 1998.

Open Financial Exchange

In addition, the companies are working with Visa Interactive to link Open Financial Exchange to its ADMS network, giving financial institutions easy access to Visa's ADMS billpay system. Edify Corporation and Security First Technologies have also announced their intention to support Open Financial Exchange. Edify Corporation will integrate Open Financial Exchange into its Electronic Banking System. And Security First Technologies will integrate Open Financial Exchange into its suite of message formats supported by its Virtual Financial Manager Internet banking engine, thus enabling its bank partners to easily support any client interface that is compatible with the specification.

Open Financial Exchange was developed in concert with financial services companies and in response to financial institutions' desires for a simplified method for the exchange of financial data. The unified specification will streamline the process financial institutions need to go through to connect to multiple customer interfaces, processors and systems integrators. The companies said that by making it more compelling for financial institutions to implement online services, Open Financial Exchange will open the door for consumers, enabling them to manage personal finances online with the institution of their choice.

"Convergence around a unified specification will accelerate the adoption of electronic financial connectivity and represents a dramatic benefit for financial services providers and their customers," said Bill Harris, executive vice president of Intuit.

"Financial institutions are in need of a simple, low-cost solution to help them rapidly adopt and deploy online banking and brokerage services," said Lewis Levin, vice president of Microsoft's Desktop Financial Division. "By working with Intuit and CheckFree to create one specification, we're speeding the development process that needs to take place in order to make Internet financial services a reality."

Pete Kight, CEO of CheckFree said "Open Financial Exchange means financial institutions have control over the way they offer electronic solutions -- they can choose the interfaces and processing platforms that are the best for their particular customer base."

Bill Fenimore, managing director of Integrion, said "This cooperative effort supports Integrion's operating principle of providing an open, standards-based product offering to financial institutions through multiple access devices. We are confident that Integrion's participation in joint endeavors such as this one will result in an increasingly valuable service for the end consumer."

The Open Financial Exchange specification will be publicly available for implementation by any financial institution or vendor, and will be utilized by Microsoft, Intuit and CheckFree as the primary mechanism for supporting financial data exchange in their products and services beginning in the fall of 1997. A draft specification will be available Monday, January 20 at Microsoft's Web-site, Intuit's Web-site, and by CheckFree. After a one month review and comment period by banks, brokers and solution providers, a final version of the specification will be published in mid-February.

Intuit and Microsoft will implement Open Financial Exchange across their entire lines of financial software products and Web-based interfaces, including Intuit's Quicken, QuickBooks®, BankNOW"! and TurboTax® and Microsoft's Microsoft Money and Microsoft Investor. CheckFree will provide access to its payment, bill delivery and portfolio management transaction processing for Open Financial Exchange-enabled applications, including those published by Microsoft and Intuit.

Category: Online

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