Brinkman Technologies Inc. said it has developed Internet- based home banking software that would let institutions execute their own bill payment transactions.

Powerline Internet would let customers initiate electronic data interchange transactions, which would be settled among banks using the automated clearing house system. The company plans to use the same technology to support banks that want to deliver bills electronically over the Internet, a capability that will be available in January.

Merchants would send bills directly to customers' electronic mail addresses. Using the software, a bank would become a payment and presentment service bureau, matching billers and consumers on-line.

"Powerline Internet could cost consumers less than 10 cents per transaction because banks will handle the bill payments directly," said Mark Brinkman, president of the Dallas-based company.

Sterling Bank, a $1.5 billion-asset bank based in Houston, will be the first bank customer, Mr. Brinkman said. Separately, three billers with 126,000 monthly bills combined will begin testing the bill presentment capability next month.

Brinkman Technologies, formed in 1984, has sold an earlier version of its home banking software, which uses dial-up connections, to 68 banks.

"Our technology will allow any bank in the U.S. to compete head to head" with third-party bill payment processors, Mr. Brinkman said.

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