NEW YORK - J.P. Morgan & Co., which this year created a $1 billion incubator fund for Internet start-ups, has joined three other companies to invest a total of $15 million in the Competix.com credit-checking service.

Competix.com, a closely held company in Burlingame, Calif., was started in 1996 by Bank of Montreal. It targets 7,000 small and midsize banks and more than 5,000 U.S. credit unions that cannot afford to develop an automated credit-checking system. Companies using the software pay Competix.com a licensing fee.

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