Sheetz to Accept Visa Contactless Payments

Rolling out new technology chainwide

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. has officially announced that it will begin accepting Visa Contactless payments, a new feature on Visa cards that uses radio- frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable customers to make a purchase by holding their Visa Contactless card near a secure reader at checkout instead of swiping it.

As reported in CSP Daily News last week, Chase Bank USA NA, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said it will become the first bank to broadly roll out consumer credit cards with blink contactless credit card functionality [image-nocss] in a market-by-market rollout this summer. Sheetz, Altoona, Pa., and 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas, are among the first retailers to offer the payment option.

Sheetz will be Chase's first partner to launch its cobranded credit card with blink functionality, allowing customers the ability to use Chase cards that blink at all of Sheetz locations. Sheetz has installed 1,000 contactless card readers at 310 locations. 7-Eleven will be an early adopter of the Chase cards with blink, initially testing the Visa version in 170 stores.

Visa Contactless transactions use a capability embedded in the card that contains payment information, which can be processed rapidly and securely over an extremely short distance at the point-of-sale (POS) terminal. All other aspects of the contactless transaction are handled in the same way as a traditional credit or debit payment transaction.

"Sheetz prides itself on being a pioneer in the convenience store industry and being the first retailer to put a contactless system into use across the entire chain," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing for the company. "The whole idea is to simply add another layer of convenience for our customers."

Visa Contactless provides greater convenience to Sheetz's customers by eliminating the need for a signature for payments under $25, while cardholders receive all the same security protections the industry has come to expect from Visa, including zero liability for fraudulent charges and Visa's anti-fraud technology. Also, cardholders making purchases at Sheetz with Visa Contactless enjoy additional layers of security because the card never leaves the customer's hand, can only be read at extremely close proximity to a contactless reader, and uses data that is unique to each contactless transaction.

Also, Visa Contactless payments enable Sheetz to process more transactions in less time and significantly improve operating efficiencies. Visa tests show that contactless payments are up to 25% faster than cash transactions and enable merchants to track the day's receipts electronically, it said.

"Visa is pleased to partner with a pioneering merchant like Sheetz to deliver the next generation of payment technology, and increase convenience and speed at the point of sale," said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president of product development and management for Visa. "Throughout our payment trials, Visa cardholders consistently say they prefer merchant locations that offer them payment choice, as well as speed and convenience. Thanks to our partnership with merchants like Sheetz we are able to meet that demand."

Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a variety of payment alternatives. Through its 14,000 member financial institutions, more than 463 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States.

Sheetz operates more than 300 convenience locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.