BankLink Inc. has joined the bandwagon of software vendors offering Windows versions of their cash management programs, and Sterling Software Inc. is getting set to hop aboard.

For years, banks have provided their corporate customers with software packages that allow them to access bank account data, initiate electronic funds transfers, and perform other cash management functions.

But only in the last few years have banks and software vendors invested in updating those services to run in Microsoft Corp.'s popular Windows computer environment.

The new PC-based products from New York-based BankLink and Dallas-based Sterling employ "graphical user interface" technology, which uses on- screen icons that allow for point-and-click commands.

BankLink, a former division of Chemical Banking Corp. recently acquired by Fiserv Inc., released BankLink Series 2000, its Windows-based software for cash management reporting, in March.

It has since been upgraded to let corporate cash managers initiate automated clearing house transactions, make stop-payment requests, and transfer financial data from one PC software program to another.

Sterling says its new Vector: Banker for Windows will have similar capabilities.

The software, to be available in August, "provides the sophisticated capabilities formerly associated with money-center banks and Fortune 500 companies," said Robert Heard, a Sterling vice president.

Vector: Banker for Windows is an enhancement of a DOS-based system developed by a recent Sterling acquisition, Maxxus Inc. of San Francisco.

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