A new toll-free service from AT&T automates credit card transactions. Called AT&T's 800 Transaction Advantage, the service automates the process for credit card sales by guiding callers through a series of voice menus for the collection and processing of order and billing information.

The toll-free service combines interactive voice response and credit card validation technologies. It greets callers with a voice menu that prompts them to use their touch-tone telephones to enter such data as a personal identification number, dollar amounts, and their credit card number. Callers using a rotary phone can provide the information verbally.

After the data is entered, the service instantly accesses a credit card clearing house, which validates the purchase and automatically debits the caller' s credit card account while simultaneously crediting the business' bank account The business then receives electronic transaction details from the AT&T network so it can fill the order either in real time or in daily or periodic batches. Customers pay a per-call charge ranging from 14 cents to 48 cents and a usage fee of five cents to 11 cents per minute, depending on their calling volumes.

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