ATLANTA, Feb. 26, 2002 — CheckFree i-Solutions today announced that more than 500,000 Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO) utility customers now have the ability to receive and pay bills at their choice of CheckFree-powered Web sites including banks, brokerages, credit unions and Internet portals.
As subsidiaries of WPS Resources Corp., Public Service and UPPCO are the primary gas and electric providers for northeast and north- central Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, respectively.
Using the online service, residential and small-business utility customers can save time and gain more control over monthly financial activities such as scheduling and paying bills. Consumers receive an email notification that their Public Service or UPPCO bills are available at the online billing and payment site of their choice. There, customers can quickly retrieve and review the same billing information they currently receive by mail.
Additionally, by clicking on links that appear directly on the e-bill, customers can access a variety of online services on the Public Service and UPPCO Web sites such as address change, account and rate information, and instructions on how to read gas and electric meters.
With a few clicks of the mouse, customers can schedule their bill payment from the checking, savings or money market account of their choice. As a result, Public Service and UPPCO customers can spend less of their valuable free time paying bills each month by eliminating the need to open bills, write checks, manually record the payments, stuff envelopes and locate stamps to pay the same company month after month.
Unlike paper payments, customers who pay their bills electronically are protected against late fees and interest charges, and liability for unauthorized transactions by the CheckFree Guarantee. In addition, all payment status and history information is stored at a single, secure online site for record-keeping purposes.
“Giving customers various ways to receive and pay their bills is one way we are trying to meet their needs and expectations. Online billing offers convenience, flexibility and freedom,” said Peggie Himmel, retail billing product manager for Wisconsin Public Service and UPPCO. “As customers become more comfortable with online services, they will find we also have options to help them analyze their energy use and process routine service requests at their convenience, without having to work through a customer service representative.”
“Gas and electric companies have been consistent early adopters of technologies that make their customers’ lives easier, and electronic billing and payment is one such service,” said Tom Stampiglia, president of CheckFree i-Solutions. “The addition of the Wisconsin Public Service and UPPCO utility bills to the number of other regional and national bills available electronically is a great impetus for consumers to join an online billing program and have greater control of their finances.”
Today Public Service and UPPCO customers can enroll for the service through their choice of financial services sites that include banks, brokerages, credit unions, Internet portals and personal financial management software. At these sites, Public Service and UPPCO customers can also receive and pay other bills from a growing number of telephone, mortgage, insurance, and credit card companies. Consumers can also use “pay everyone” services to make payments from their computers to anyone to whom they would write a check. This includes all payments, even day care centers, charitable deductions and money sent to individuals, such as children in college.
Electronic bills currently available in the Wisconsin and Michigan markets include national billers such as AT&T Consumer Long Distance, Sears, Rich’s, Macy’s, Countrywide Home Loans, Lowe’s Consumer Credit and more. For a complete list of sites that offer CheckFree electronic billing and payment, visit www.checkfree.com/ebillservices .
About Wisconsin Public Service
Wisconsin Public Service Corporation is an investor-owned electric and gas utility serving more than 500,000 natural gas and electric customers in northeastern and north central Wisconsin, as well as an adjacent portion of Upper Michigan. Public Service is a wholly owned subsidiary of WPS Resources Corporation.
About Upper Peninsula Power Co.
Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO) is a regulated electric utility serving more than 50,000 customers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. UPPCO, which is headquartered in Houghton, Michigan, was incorporated in 1947 and became a subsidiary of WPS Resources Corporation in September 1998. UPPCO’s service area extends to 10 of the 15 counties in Upper Michigan, covering approximately 4,500 square miles of primarily rural countryside.
About CheckFree i-Solutions
As a software group within CheckFree Corporation, CheckFree i-Solutions is a provider of end-to-end business-to-consumer and business-to- business solutions for e-billing and payment and e-statement delivery. CheckFree i-Solutions offers CheckFree i-Series software for e-bill and e-statement creation, i-Processing services that include payment and distribution through about 430 financial services sites and customer care, and i-Hosting services that accommodate software hosting and full-service outsourcing.
About CheckFree (www.checkfree.com)
CheckFree is a provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded in 1981 and celebrating its 21st year in e-commerce, CheckFree is comprised of three divisions: Electronic Commerce, Software, and Investment Services. CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution in 1997.