Electronic Clearing House Inc. has introduced a system for merchants to process credit card transactions using a touch- tone phone connected to voice-response systems.

"Research shows there will be 25,000 to 50,000 new home businesses next year," said spokeswoman Donna Camras. The Echo TeleMerchant Processing system is "an easy alternative" for merchants who cannot afford point of sale terminals or find it inconvenient to use them, she said.

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