Imperial Bancorp will become the preferred merchant acquirer for Seattle-based Vitessa Corp., a virtual warehouse that supplies products to Internet merchants. Vitessa will recommend Inglewood, Calif.-based Imperial as an acquirer to merchants who sign up with the Vitessa's Merchant Exchange network, which allows client merchants to sell merchandise on the Web while Vitessa fulfills the orders on an as-needed basis. A Vitessa spokesperson tells Faulkner & Gray that the firm, which launched Merchant Exchange in April, now has about 10 clients using the network. The service allows high-traffic Web sites to sell goods directly to their visitors without having to stock the items; therefore, the spokesperson claims, the sites can earn more than they would by referring consumers to an affiliated merchant's Web site. An Imperial spokesperson notes that there is no formal deal and that no money has changed hands between the two firms.
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