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July 17, 1981

Soon your fingers may do the charging as well as the walking. Using an operator has been a drawback to credit card phone calls when away from home or office. Now certain coin phones in Buffalo, N.Y., and Jacksonville , Fla., allow customers to bypass the operator and punch their secret, 14-digit account numbers directly onto the touch-tone keys. The new system offers increased privacy, speeds up the call, and eventually may cut costs.

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Some regional phone companies are expected to begin converting to charge-it-yourself phones by early 1982.m