BankAmerica Corp. and First USA Paymentech have bought Verifone Inc.'s payment software for the Internet.

They will use VGate and VPos, Verifone's Internet commerce gateway and merchant software. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

A third piece of Verifone's electronic commerce offering, VWallet, will be available once the MasterCard-Visa Secure Electronic Transactions protocol for credit card payments on the Net is adopted.

Banks can use the Verifone technology to deliver private-labeled Internet commerce services to merchant customers. BankAmerica and First USA Paymentech join a user list that includes Wells Fargo & Co., Royal Bank of Canada, and Hitechniaga/MBf Group of Malaysia.

BankAmerica's merchant services unit, which recently announced an initial public offering as a stand-alone business, processes credit and debit card sales for more than 150,000 merchants. It is the No. 4 processor of merchant transactions.

First USA Paymentech ranks third in the merchant business. Its credit card issuing affiliate, First USA Bank, is one of the largest.

Roger Bertman, a vice president at Verifone, said the reason these banks "are investing heavily in building the infrastructure" is because "the credit card will be the preeminent (on-line) payment instrument."

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