Checkfree Corp. said Southern Co., also of Atlanta, will roll out electronic bill delivery and payment to its customers once an internal test covering the utility's employees is completed.

Checkfree now has three banks and 40 billers signed on to test its electronic bill presentment and payment product.

First Union Corp. already has rolled out bill delivery services to its customers, and Bank One and Chase Manhattan are expected to do so in the first quarter. In addition, the Checkfree service is available to companies that offer electronic banking through Quicken.com.

Of the 40 billers, 13 are up and running with bill presentment and payment, and another 13 are well into implementation, said a spokeswoman.

Southern Co.'s nearly 11 million customers will be able to gain access to color images of their utility bills, including graphics, logos, and full billing details, over the Internet.

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