Firethorn and CheckFree to Provide Arvest Bank Group Mobile Banking and Payments
Midwest community bank leader to deliver convenient, flexible and secure mobile banking and payment options to customers
Atlanta, Georgia, October 3, 2007
Firethorn Holdings, LLC, (www.firethornmobile.com) the mobile banking and payments enabler, and CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR), a leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products, announced today that Bentonville, Ark.-based Arvest Bank Group (www.arvest.com), a $9.3 billion-asset community banking leader throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas, will offer the Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution beginning first quarter 2008 to its 164,000 active online banking customers and over 24,000 monthly online bill-pay users.
Arvest selected Firethorn based on its single sign-on technology as well as Firethorn's exclusive partnership with leading online banking and bill payment leader CheckFree. Also of importance to Arvest is the opportunity for Firethorn's mobile banking application to be pre-loaded on AT&T handsets, thus increasing the bank's visibility and likelihood of user adoption.
"Convenience for our customers is always a top priority as demonstrated by our 12-hour banking locations and expansive ATM network," said David DeMarea, Director of Alternative Delivery Systems at Arvest. "This is an additional channel that will allow our customers to manage their banking services. We appreciate working with Firethorn and CheckFree to bring this new access channel to our customers."
The Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution is customizable and branded, thus enabling Arvest to tailor the application to showcase specific products and services for its customers. And because Firethorn's mobile banking solution will be embedded on AT&T mobile handsets, wireless users will be able to easily locate the application.
Arvest customers, using their Firethorn-enabled mobile application, will be able to pay bills, check balances, view history and transfer funds from their Arvest Bank accounts.
"Arvest has been a valued CheckFree online bill payment partner since 2001," said Alex Hart, executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree Electronic Banking Services. "We look forward to working with Firethorn to provide Arvest customers with CheckFree electronic billing and payment services through their Firethorn-enabled mobile handsets."
"One leading financial institution at a time, Firethorn — together with its rapidly expanding group of strategic partners — is making the mobile banking and payments market," said Firethorn Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tripp Rackley. "We are pleased to welcome Arvest to our network and look forward to working with this visionary institution to provide a superior mobile banking and payments experience to its customers."
The Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution is available on select AT&T wireless handsets today and will be expanded to support additional devices later this year.
"Banks realize that many customers enjoy the benefits of online banking and the power to expand these capabilities to the mobile handset is compelling for people that need to pay bills, transfer funds or check balances on the go," said Mark Collins, Vice President, Consumer Data Products, AT&T's wireless unit. "Every bank that is added to Firethorn's platform will provide additional options for AT&T customers who wish to access their financial institution remotely."
Firethorn is the mobile banking and payments enabler supported by the nation's leading financial institutions and wireless carriers. The Firethorn solution is a single, secure, certified application embedded on select wireless handsets, which allows users to view account balances and history, transfer funds and receive and pay bills. Firethorn enables financial institutions to deliver branded services to consumers via the mobile device, wireless carriers to deliver consumer-convenient, mass-market applications to subscribers, and mobile device users to access and add multiple financial relationships with one password. Firethorn network partners gain the ability to improve customer retention, generate revenue and enhance brand equity. Firethorn is among IDC Research's "Emerging Mobile Players to Watch" and one of Georgia's Most Innovative Technology Companies. For more information on Firethorn, visit www.firethornmobile.com.
About Arvest Bank Group
Arvest Bank operates more than 200 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a network of 16 locally managed community banks, each with their own board of directors and management team. These banks serve customers in 90 communities with 12-hour weekday banking at most locations. Arvest also operates a mortgage company, asset management company, insurance division and mortgage servicing company. Arvest employs more than 1,100 associates in Northwest Arkansas.
Founded in 1981, CheckFree (Nasdaq: CKFR) provides electronic commerce to organizations around the world. CheckFree Electronic Commerce solutions enable thousands of financial providers and billers to offer the convenience of receiving and paying household bills online, via phone or in person through retail outlets. CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management solutions and outsourced services to hundreds of financial services organizations, which manage about $1.8 trillion in assets. CheckFree Software develops, markets and supports payment processing solutions that are used by financial institutions to process more than two-thirds of the 14 billion Automated Clearing House transactions in the United States, and supports reconciliation, exception management, risk management, transaction process management, corporate actions processing, and compliance within thousands of organizations worldwide.
Certain of CheckFree's statements in this press release are not purely historical, and as such are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements regarding management's intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations or projections of the future. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, the various risks inherent in the CheckFree's business, and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in CheckFree's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including CheckFree's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2007 (filed August 24, 2007). One or more of these factors have affected, and could in the future affect CheckFree's business and financial results in future periods, and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans and projections. There can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements made in this press release will prove to be accurate, and issuance of such forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by CheckFree, or any other person, that the objectives and plans of CheckFree will be achieved. All forward-looking statements made in this press release are based on information presently available to management, and CheckFree assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
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