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CyberCash and AT&T Form an Alliance

By Neil Irwin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 24, 2000; Page E05

Reston-based CyberCash Inc., which has long struggled to turn its software for electronic payments into a profitable business, will announce today that AT&T Corp. will help sell its business services.

CyberCash, which has tried a variety of business approaches in its six-year history, currently provides electronic cash-register software and payment-processing services to small online retailers. AT&T will join the company's roughly 160 affiliates that help small businesses set up online stores, marketing the CyberCash services to those retailers.

The CyberCash offering will be part of a new program from AT&T, called Business Ready Dedicated Hosting Service, which provides a suite of preconfigured tools for businesses designed to ease the creation of online shopping sites. Under the program, AT&T will host these Web sites on its computers, eliminating the need for small businesses to buy, configure and maintain the necessary computers and software.

Under this deal, businesses using the AT&T service will be offered the CyberCash system to run electronic cash registers and process payments. (Businesses can choose other electronic payment systems, but CyberCash will be the default.) CyberCash will pay AT&T a commission for every client that uses the CyberCash system, and those clients will pay CyberCash a fee of 4 cents to 20 cents per transaction, plus various fees for optional features that CyberCash will offer.

"AT&T will be a leading provider of e-commerce to bricks and clicks. And we'll be their payments provider by default," said James Condon, CyberCash's president and chief executive.

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