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Intuit Testing Web-Based Bill Payment

Intuit Inc. Wednesday unveiled a new online bill payment and presentment service for testing by consumers and merchants.

The service, designed for both consumers and small businesses, allows users to receive, view, pay and record bills using a Web-based interface. It will be available to all consumers later this year.

The program gives consumers a central access point to view, track and pay bills. Any merchant can be paid through the system regardless of whether they accept electronic payments. Although consumers use Quicken.com to access the bills, they remain hosted on the individual biller's system.

Companies participating in the rollout include BellSouth, Florida Power and Light, Portland General Electronic and HomeSide Lending.

Mark Goines, senior vice president of Intuit's consumer division, said the service is the "next logical step" in the company's efforts to meet consumers' growing demand for offerings that simplify tracking finances.

"The beta of this program puts Quicken.com and the participating billers on the path to providing a positive customer experience with the full version this fall," he said.

The program is designed around the Open Financial Exchange, or OFX, specification to ensure interoperability between various participants.

Intuit has been offering integrated bill payment through its Quicken software for years in partnership with Checkfree. In addition, many larger banks around the country are offering similar services.