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AOL, Intuit in bill payment deal

The two firms enter a five-year deal to create a new service that will allow customers to view, track and pay their bills online.

America Online and Intuit today said they have agreed to create a way for customers to handle their household bills online.

Under the five-year agreement, Dulles, Va.-based AOL and financial software maker Intuit will create a new service that will allow customers to view, track and pay their bills online, whether they are issued electronically or in so-called hard copy paper bills. Intuit will be the exclusive provider of the new bill tracking and payment service offered through multiple AOL brands.

Both companies said the new billing and payment service is different from others because it isn't limited to payments of only electronic bills or scanned paper bills, and it doesn't require consumers to enter the payment amounts themselves. With the new service, the two companies said users can view their bills online, easily have funds transferred from their existing bank accounts, and then hit a button to have the payments made.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

AOL said today's agreement will add everyday household money management to the financial planning and investment services that the channel already provides.

In addition, the deal calls for AOL and Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit to provide utilities, credit card companies and other billers with a way to present bills to their customers using their brand and logo identity as well as encryption technology for security. With a monthly fee yet to be determined, consumers also will have the option of directing billers who do not provide electronic billing to send paper bills to an Intuit address where they will be scanned into an electronic format, the companies said in a statement.

The new service builds on a broad strategic content and commerce alliance between AOL and Intuit. Since last year, Intuit has been the primary source of software and programming for AOL's personal finance Web channel, the companies said.

AOL and Intuit said they plan to launch the new service early next year.