RealTime IT News

Wells Fargo Sets the Stage

Taking some steps to solidify its position in the e-payments and billing space, the venerable Wells Fargo signed two deals in two days, one with PayPal and the other with CheckFree Corp.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo , the fourth-largest U.S. bank, said its deal with Mountain View, Calif.-based PayPal makes it the provider of secure Internet payment-processing services on the popular P2P transaction service.

Separately, Wells Fargo signed a multi-year contract with Norcross, Ga.-based CheckFree for online banking, e-billing and payment processing services.

Wells Fargo replaces the Electronic Payment Exchange subsidiary of financial services software maker InterCept as PayPal's credit card processor.

For the six months ending May 31, EPX is said to have recorded average monthly revenue of about $185,000 from processing PayPal's domestic and international transactions. InterCept has said its earnings will not be materially affected.

PayPal, which just signed a deal with UPS to combine its online payment process with digital shipping tools, employs e-mail to let senders notify recipients of a payment. Money is then directly transferred to the recipient's account using Wells Fargo's secure payment processing service.

PayPal reportedly does not plan to transfer its international credit card services. Financial specifics of the Wells Fargo deal were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, the multi-year deal with e-commerce financial services company CheckFree calls for Wells Fargo to provide online banking, e-billing and payment processing via CheckFree.

CheckFree and Wells Fargo have had a business relationship since 1996, and this agreement, which includes unspecified monthly revenue commitments, will allow CheckFree to participate in the latest version of Wells Fargo's bill pay service.

CheckFree's services will help offer increased Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) options for Wells Fargo customers, alongside the bank's other partners including MasterCard, Metavante and Spectrum. The relationship with CheckFree will give Wells Fargo customers access to CheckFree's network of more than 200 national and regional billers.

Wells Fargo, a $312 billion diversified financial services company, says it has three million active online users.