CheckFree plans to pay approximately $110 million in cash to acquire the outstanding stock of American Payment Systems (APS), a provider of walk-in bill payment services, from UIL Holdings Corp.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of CheckFree’s current fiscal year, which closes on June 30, 2004.

APS, based in Wallingford, CT, provides walk-in bill payment services through a national network of more than 8,000 retail and agent locations, which reaches 70 percent of consumers in the top 75 U.S. metropolitan areas.

“This new bill payment channel significantly extends our reach in electronic billing and payment,” said CheckFree Chairman and CEO Pete Kight. “CheckFree is the leading provider of electronic billing and payment services, but we do not reach the 20 percent of the U.S. population who pay their bills in person in retail locations around the country. Combining APS’ retail footprint with our current electronic billing and payment offering greatly enhances our value proposition to billers.”

As part of the deal, CheckFree will also get APS’ prepaid stored value MasterCard business, which uses the same retail network to provide APS agents with an additional payment service.

CheckFree says it is not acquiring APS’ prepaid telephony business, which is managed by a joint venture and is not aligned with the goals of the acquisition.