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FirstEnergy Offers CheckFree Electronic Billing & Payment Services To Two Million Customers.

CheckFree E-Bill a Highlight of Revamped Web Site Devoted

To Online Customer Care

ATLANTA, June 19 /PRNewswire/ --

CheckFree (Nasdaq: CKFR), the leading provider of electronic billing and payment services, and FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), today announced that electronic billing and payment is available to the 2.2 million customers of FirstEnergy's electric operating companies in northern and central Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania.

By using CheckFree E-Bill(SM), the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution, FirstEnergy customers can pay their electric bills electronically. With a simple mouse click, consumers can approve their bill payment in a matter of moments and have the amount deducted electronically from a designated bank account. Customers also can use the service to access payment status. In addition, customers who pay bills electronically are protected from unauthorized transactions or processing delays by the CheckFree Guarantee.

FirstEnergy customers can access their electronic bill at FirstEnergy's Web site, (www.firstenergycorp.com ), or their choice of more than 150 Web sites including Yahoo!, U.S. Postal Service, leading banks, brokerages, credit unions, portals and other financial service sites that offer CheckFree electronic services. For a complete list of Web sites where CheckFree E-Bill can be used, visit CheckFree's Web site at www.checkfree.com .

"FirstEnergy is committed to providing our customers with a convenient, efficient way to do business. We want them to find everything they need on our Web site," said Kaye Jendrisak, FirstEnergy director of customer service systems. "By partnering with CheckFree, our customers have an alternative method to more quickly and easily pay their electric bills each month."

"FirstEnergy is the latest of a growing list of companies that value electronic billing and payment as a more convenient, efficient and secure way for their consumers to pay bills and access customer care information interactively," said Tom Stampiglia, president of CheckFree Software Division. "As a company looking to leverage the Internet to offer the highest level of customer care, an electronic bill offers FirstEnergy a monthly opportunity for personal interaction with their customer."

About FirstEnergy Corp.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy and related services holding company with more than $18 billion in assets and more than $6 billion in annual revenues. FirstEnergy's electric utility operating companies -- Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, Toledo Edison and Pennsylvania Power -- comprise the nation's tenth largest electric system, serving 2.2 million customers in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

About CheckFree

CheckFree (www.checkfree.com) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded as an electronic payments processor in 1981, CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution, CheckFree E-Bill, in March of 1997. Today, CheckFree services enable 3.3 million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically. The Company has multi-year contracts with 121 of the nation's top billers to provide online billing and payment through its network of partnerships with more than 150 consumer service providers (CSPs), including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites, and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree's Investment Services division provides a range of investment management services to help more than 255 institutions provide portfolio management and reporting services to their clients. CheckFree clients manage over 820,000 portfolios totaling more than $480 billion in assets. Software and services provided by CheckFree's Compliance and Financial Service division are used to process more than two-thirds of the nation's six billion Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments. In addition, nearly 400 banks and businesses use reconciliation products and services the division provides.

Certain of the Company'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 Company's business, and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 1999 (filed September 24, 1999), Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2000 (filed May 15, 2000), and Form S-3 Registration Statement (filed January 14, 2000). One or more of these factors have affected, and could in the future affect, the Company'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 document will prove to be accurate, and issuance of such forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by the Company, or any other person, that the objectives and plans of the Company will be achieved. All forward-looking statements made in this press release are based on information presently available to management, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 19, 2000
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