As an alternative to smart card technology, and to dramatically reduce the costs and risks of financial transactions, Infrared Financial Messaging (IrFM) technology was being considered for an end-to-end digital payment system in which all transactions would be digitized at the POS, and consumers would receive digital receipts on IrFM-enabled handheld devices.
The first round of a federal lawsuit over "1-click" online ordering was decided in favor of Amazon.com Inc., which was awarded a patent for the technology in September 1999, two years after it introduced the technology. Barnes and Noble Inc. immediately began requiring its e-commerce customers to confirm order details and shipping address on a second screen.
The Electronic Clearing House Inc. (ECHO) established a business relationship with Nature's Sunshine Products, a direct marketing organization. ECHO thus began offering merchant accounts to Sunshine's 19,000 active distributors of nutritional and health products.
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