SAN FRANCISCO - PointSpeed Inc., a provider of online purchasing software for small businesses, has become the first Internet company to announce it will offer electronic checks from Bankserv.

The e-checks are to be available at PointSpeed's business purchasing centers, which are on the sites of corporations that serve the small-business market.

"Because e-Checks are just an electronic form of traditional paper checks, we believe our customers will be comfortable using them," said Neville Batliwalla, PointSpeed's vice president of supplier development.

The e-checks' transaction fee is 80% lower than online credit card fees, said David Kvederis, Bankserv's president and chief executive officer.

Bankserv built its e-Check product on the backbone of its proprietary electronic check conversion system, which is used by merchants to transform paper checks at the cash register into electronic funds transfers.

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