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Pitney Bowes Receives Patent for Separating Print Streams

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., February 18, 2003-- Pitney Bowes Inc. is pleased to announce the issuance by the United States Patent & Trademark Office of a key patent (US 6,483,599) in the field of electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP). The patent describes a method of separating print stream data into electronic and hard copy streams which can be implemented by Pitney Bowes D3 and StreamWeaver technology. This proprietary technology allows companies to more efficiently deliver electronic versions of hard copy bills to their customers. "The ability to deliver output from existing legacy systems across multiple output channels is the key to success for companies interested in leveraging their current business process while adopting digital presentment," said P.C. McGrew of the McGrew+McDaniel Group, author of Wrestling Legacy Data to the Web & Beyond: Practical Solutions for Managers & Technicians. "The awarding of this patent confirms that Pitney Bowes is a leader in the growing industries of electronic presentment and payment and document-centered Customer Relationship Management." "Delivering bills or statements according to your customers' preference is good customer relationship management and offers businesses a substantial competitive advantage," said Leslie Abi-Karam, president of Pitney Bowes Document Messaging Technologies, a business of Pitney Bowes that creates and distributes interactive, mission-critical documents. "Pitney Bowes' experience with both print and electronic document delivery is a significant advantage for our clients." According to Gartner Research, by the end of 2005, the number of consumers using e-billing applications will have grown to include 50 million adults. For many billers, older mainframe-based "legacy" systems are used to generate print information in one of a variety of formats called print streams. This information, along with accompanying customer account information, is typically directed to a high speed, high volume printer to generate the billing document. Hard copy inserts, generally of an advertisement or informational nature, are often included in the envelope. Electronic bill presentment and payment, the process by which companies bill customers and receive payments electronically over the Internet, has been found to be cost effective when legacy systems are leveraged for the billing data and the hard copy document is suppressed to maximize savings in postage and paper. Pitney Bowes' D3 software supplies the means of receiving the customers' delivery preference through a simple enrollment process. Based on that preference, Pitney Bowes uses its industry leading StreamWeaver software to separate the portion of the print stream designated for electronic delivery while retaining the original print stream data untouched for hard copy delivery. The customer is notified by email that a document is available for viewing. If the customer does not view the document within a predetermined time the document is regenerated in hard copy form and sent through the mail to ensure compliance with regulatory statutes. Control and status data concerning the output is made available to the sender throughout the process. The biller can track which particular inserts were sent to the customer, which inserts generated a "click" and which inserts generated an action for the purpose of campaign tracking and Customer Relationship Management. Copies of this patent can be obtained from the U.S. patent and trademark office at www.uspto.gov or by visiting www.pbdmt.com.