Fort Knox National Unveils E-Payment ASP

Kevin Newcomb

Updated · Aug 08, 2003

Payment service provider Fort Knox National Company (FKNC) today unveiled a pre-release of its TruePay suite of e-payment solutions.

FKNC is in the business of taking payments for customers. For over 18 years, they have done so via outsourced call center services, voice response systems (VRS), and internet-based private-label payment services. In addition, TruePay 5.0 incorporates a new service — a desktop application for customers to roll out via an ASP to all of their customer service representatives to take payments.

“What we're doing now is taking that 18 years of experience and wrapping it into a product, which is TruePay 5.0,” J. Joshua Hartlage, Chief Marketing Officer for FKNC, told ASPnews. “What this is going to bring us is a single source for all those payment methods. In 18 years, we know how to do this. We know because we've worked with high-level companies, Fortune 500 companies, on how they do business. We think we can wrap a product together that will give them, as well as other companies at other levels, the types of services they've enjoyed for the past 18 years.”

TruePay 5.0 incorporates advanced Voice Response Systems (VRS) technologies including voice recognition and intelligent network routing of calls. Calls can be routed based on consumer-specific business rules, geographies, delinquency metrics, or cross-sell strategies. The system uses computer telephony integration (CTI) for full convergence of VRS payment data with companies' web, call center, and collections operations and applications.

TruePay supports several methods of making payments, including ACH (automated clearing house), credit card, debit card and PIN-less ATM transactions.

The TrueView ASP module and web technology will provide CSRs, collectors, and consumers unified views of all e-payment channels, empowering all parties with full, real-time control to add, edit, or delete pending, postdated, and recurring payments. This functionality will also allow companies to monitor consumer payments made and scheduled, to track payment processing, and to assess channel performance metrics.

“What this will do is give companies the ability to originate their own payments at their desktops. Because it's an ASP environment, it provides a level of security. It makes it a lot more comforting not only to the customer but to our clients who are originating the payments,” Hartlage said.

Another benefit of an ASP approach results from FKNC's relationship with its sister company, Fort Knox National Bank. As a national bank, there are certain advantages to customers if FKNC is the one actually doing the payments in the end. The company is able to manage the large book of regulations imposed by the National ACH Foundation (NACHA), as well as OCC regulations from the banking side, Hartlage said.

For instance, if a customer wants to charge a fee for a late payment, they may be prohibited from doing so in certain states. But since FKNC is handling the payment throughout the process as a national bank, federal regulations supercede any state regulations, so that fee can go through.

“No other companies offer that type of protection, because the other companies that offer services like ours do not have as close a relationship as we do with our bank. Their banks don't want to participate in a situation like that with just another vendor. So we provide some other protections for companies that other companies cannot,” Hartlage said.

Elizabethtown, Ky.-based FKNC processes nearly 20 billion dollars in payments annually for over 700 U.S. companies, most of them in the auto finance, mortgage, consumer finance, insurance and utilities industries. But the potential for TruePay doesn't stop there, Hartlage said.

“In the end, we believe that anyone who is taking a payment or has a desire to make a payment could use our product. Luckily, I think that's every business out there.”

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