MIAMI - A fledgling stored value system has managed to edge its way into choice payment slots on well-known merchant Web sites next to the big-leaguers American Express, MasterCard, and Visa.

Flooz, a digital currency usually used for online gift certificates, has only been around since September. But it is now a featured payment option at sites like BarnesandNoble.com, Toysrus.com, and Godiva.com and is being offered as a perk to employees and clients of such companies as Bell Atlantic, Cisco Systems, and Sun Microsystems Inc.

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