Four major banking companies and a premier card company are expected to announce today that they have thrown their weight behind an Internet payment service being assembled by Ariba Inc., a prominent developer of business-to-business marketplaces.

Bank of America Corp., ABN Amro, U.S. Bancorp, FleetBoston Financial Corp., and American Express have pledged to plug their payment capabilities into Ariba's Web marketplaces, eliminating a major shortcoming that these increasingly popular sites face in negotiating deals between corporate buyers and suppliers.

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