Checkfree Corp. and Compuserve Inc. announced that by the end of this month they will offer a service enabling consumers to make purchases on- line.

The on-line service provider, a unit of H&R Block Corp., has licensed Checkfree's electronic payments software, called the Wallet. Compuserve will combine its own network browsing capabilities with this front-end software so that consumers can shop and buy at on-line merchants. Checkfree will process all the payments.

Any consumer with a credit card will be able to buy goods or services from on-line merchants. The service costs $9.95 per month and the software itself will retail for $9.95. Compuserve and Checkfree will receive an undisclosed piece of the transactions fees.

The Compuserve Wallet for Windows 95 is expected to be available August 24, the same day as the long-anticipated release of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 operating system.

Checkfree has been broadening its horizons in electronic commerce in the past few months. The Columbus, Ohio-based company processes electronic payments for a number of banks individually and through agreements with MasterCard and Fitech.

This Compuserve deal follows on the heels with the processor's other recently announced plans to pair with Cybercash Inc., an Internet security provider, to create a broad-based computer payment system.

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