First Union Corp. said Monday that it will soon become the first major bank to use speech-recognition technology in serving its retail and investment customers.

The Charlotte, N.C., banking company purchased 3,700 units for its Enterprise call center from SpeechWorks International Inc., a Boston company whose clients include financial services companies such as E-Trade and Fidelity Investments as well as the likes of America Online, Amtrak, BellSouth, and Continental Airlines.

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