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Check-Free Bills Coming To WWP Customers

Check-Free Bills Coming To WWP Customers

Washington Water Power (WWP) and CheckFree plan to make Internet-based electronic bill paying an option for WWP's 350,000 residential electric and gas customers. By using CheckFree's E-Bill service, customers will be able to receive full-color Washington Water Power bills at no charge -- complete with graphics, logos and full billing detail -- through the World Wide Web. Once they have enrolled, customers can view and pay their Washington Water Power bills on line. Washington Water Power, whose primary service area covers eastern Washington, north Idaho, and central Oregon, plans to rollout CheckFree E-Bill in mid-November.

"Washington Water Power, as a part of its growth initiatives, will provide value-added services for our customers," said Tom Matthews, CEO. "It's important to give customers convenient options when it comes to receiving and paying their bills."

WWP commercial and industrial customers can simplify bill paying through two unique services. The first is summary billing, a service that allows customers to combine energy use from multiple accounts and pay with one check. The other option is ACIS, a proprietary technology offered by Washington Water Power's subsidiary Avista Advantage. ACIS consolidates and submits payments of monthly utility bills of multiple site customers via the Internet.

While PC-based bill payment is not new, receiving and paying bills electronically through the Web has only recently been made possible through CheckFree E-Bill. Companies currently making electronic bills available to their customers through contracts with CheckFree E-Bill include 26 of the nation's larger billers and the nation's largest statement processor. Combined, these companies represent the potential for more than 400 million consumer and business transactions per month.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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