Intuit Inc. said Wednesday that it is offering a version of its Intuit GoPayment mobile card acceptance application that is compatible with Palm Inc.'s Pre wireless handset, which went on sale Saturday.

This is the first small-business application developed for the Palm Pre, according to Intuit, the Mountain View, Calif., company best known as the developer of the QuickBooks line of accounting programs.

The new application is available for free through the Pre App Catalog service.

To process credit card payments with the application, business owners will need an Intuit GoPayment merchant account, which costs $19.95 a month and requires a one-time setup fee of $59.95.

Intuit said the application works without special hardware, but the company also offers optional card readers that connect with handsets using wireless Bluetooth technology.

When it launched the GoPayment application line three weeks ago, Intuit said it was working with Sprint Nextel Corp. to market the software to field service workers, especially those who use the Nextel Direct Connect network.

Sprint Nextel also has a deal with Palm for the Pre, which reviewers have called the most credible challenger yet to Apple Inc.'s iPhone in the smart phone market.