IBM touts Malaysian Internet e-billing solution

Posted on November 25, 1999 
Filed Under CNET, Julian

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–IBM has endorsed a homegrown e-billing solution that will dispense with the hassle of writing multiple checks and eliminate paper-based billing and posting.

“e-Business Exchange is one of the first e-billing and payment solution vendors which has broken into new markets and has been very successful. It counts world-class companies like Hong Kong Telecom and United Overseas Bank in Singapore as its major customers,” said Ou Shian Waei, IBM Malaysia country manager.

Ou said Penang-based e-BX exemplified the kind of entrepreneurship that can flourish in Malaysia given the right business environment.

The e-BX system enables companies to post and track their bills to customers on a secure Web site and get paid directly removing paper entirely from the billing and payment cycles.

Companies can expect substantial cost savings when handling large volumes of bills and reduce administrative work of handling bills.

Although IBM has no stake in the company it is providing the hardware and software for the system. Key components include Lotus Domino, Lotus Notes, IBM Netfinity and RS/6000 servers, Tivoli systems management, and other e-Business tools like Net.Commerce, Universal Database (UDB) and Java.

“We are convinced that e-business is the right road for all companies to build new creative and distinctive competition. We want to be the choice solution and service provider and wish to grow with all our customers,” said Chan Hong Saik, the British-educated chief executive of e-BX, who previously ran a successful printing and packaging business.

Chan says the systems works equally well for both small and medium enterprises and multinational companies.

MayBank, one of Malaysia’s largest banks, is believed to have signed on. e-BX is expected to go live in Malaysia in a partnership with IBM Malaysia’s sole agent Mesiniaga on a newly-launched site called Niaganet.com early next year.

Chan said the take-up rate for the system in Singapore has been “very encouraging” since it was jointly launched with Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS), the Singaporean electronic banking network, early this year. e-BX employs over 200 staff in Singapore and Malaysia.

The e-billing cycle begins with the biller, or merchant, sending a bill or invoice through the Internet to the customer. The biller chooses a standard template or customizes the look and feel of the bill. The data can either be typed in or automatically extracted from the biller’s existing billing system.

The bill payer or customer can then view the bill, select a participating bank and authorize payment and, depending on preset options, can choose to make full or partial payment.

The bill and payment instructions are encrypted, and passed securely to the bank for processing. A time stamp verifies when this process takes place and is completed and both biller and bill payer are updated.

Published in CNET Asia, Nov 25, 1999.

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