Malaysia's banks are turning to Checkfree Corp. to provide the foundation for a clearing and settlement system.

Malaysia Electronic Payment Systems, a consortium of 20 banks, has bought Pep Plus software for automated clearing house processing.

The Checkfree product, which is used by 80 of the largest U.S. banks, will form the basis of domestic clearing and settlement services, including direct payroll deposits and corporate-to-corporate payments.

Malaysia, like many emerging countries, lacks an automated clearing house for such paperless payments. Checkfree is advising the consortium on adopting rules and operating procedures modeled after the U.S. ACH network.

The adoption of U.S.-style rules would advance long-term goals held by the National Automated Clearing House Association to promote cross-border electronic funds transfer capabilities, said Denny Oswalt, general manager of Checkfree's ACH business unit.

"Obviously we are trying to mirror Nacha's rules," Mr. Oswalt said.

ACH software vendors are finding the international market receptive. Atlanta-based Checkfree has sold its software to nearly 60 banks overseas. It is pursuing opportunities in Australia, Chile, Panama, Guatemala, and Colombia.

In August, Equifax Inc., also of Atlanta, sold its ACH software to a banking consortium in Panama. Transaction Systems Architects Inc. of Omaha has sold its software to nine foreign banks.

Checkfree expects to complete the Malaysian installation in the end of the second quarter.

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