Checkfree Corp. said it has signed an agreement with an undisclosed Internet portal to let its users receive and pay bills on-line.

Matt Lewis, a Checkfree senior vice president, said he wouldn't disclose the name of the "large Internet portal" until a service is ready for commercial release.

Avivah Litan, a research director at Gartner Group, said in an interview that "my information is that it is Yahoo."

Heather Bellini, an analyst at Lehman Bothers, said such a deal would signal a change in Checkfree's business strategy of working closely with its banks.

Shares of Checkfree's stock rose 21% Monday and 5% Tuesday on speculation surrounding the deal, which was originally reported in Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Checkfree's closing stock price of $36.125 Tuesday represents a 55% increase through January.

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