Dell Computer Corp. has teamed up with USA Technologies Inc. to develop personal computers that can be activated by credit cards.

The PCs can be placed in banks, libraries, hotels, airports, and copy centers to provide consumers with a variety of "pay-as-you-go" services such as word processing, desktop publishing, tax preparation, resume writing, access to the Internet, and E-mail.

"Our research indicates that there is an enormous consumer demand for affordable computer services," said George R. Jensen Jr., president and chief executive of USA Technologies, Wayne, Pa.

USA Technologies will provide its C3X technology, which allows consumers to swipe their credit cards through a magnetic-stripe reader to activate the computer.

Under the terms of the alliance, Austin, Tex.-based Dell will manufacture the computers. USA Technologies will handle all credit card processing, accounting, disbursement, and information management.

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