Blink Bank

7-Eleven, Sheetz rolling out Chase's contactless payments functionality

WILMINGTON, Del. -- 7-Eleven Inc. and Sheetz Inc. are among the first retailers to offer blink contactless credit card functionality. 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 in a market-by-market rollout this summer.

Working with Visa USA and MasterCard International Inc., Chase has identified merchants where speed and convenience are important to consumers, and has been building a roster in each market. Initially, Chase cardmembers will be able [image-nocss] to blink at movie theaters, convenience and specialty retailers such as 7-Eleven, quick-service restaurants and drug stores.

Chase will announce additional lists of specific merchants when they issue cards with blink in each market. Altoona, Pa.-based 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 operates more than 300 convenience locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.

7-Eleven will be an early adopter of the Chase cards with blink, initially testing the Visa card in 170 of its stores.

Because 7-Eleven is synonymous with convenience, anything we can do to improve a consumer's shopping experience at a 7-Eleven store is always under review, said Rick Updyke, vice president of business development for 7-Eleven, Dallas. The new Chase cards with blink provide customers with a faster, easier transaction. Contactless payment fits well with 7-Eleven's strategy of providing consumers convenient, quick service. As such, we expect to roll out acceptance of these cards to our 5,300 U.S. 7-Eleven stores.

The chain said that it is making the shopping experience faster and easier for many of its customers by 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 within one inch of a secure reader at checkout instead of swiping it.

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.

Cardholders receive all the same security protections already provided by Visa, including zero liability for fraudulent charges and Visa's antifraud technology. Also, cardholders making purchases at 7-Eleven stores with Visa Contactless have an extra layer of security because the card never leaves their hand and can only be read during a transaction at extremely close proximity to a contactless reader.

In addition to improving the shopping experience for its customers, Visa Contactless payments give 7-Eleven the ability to process more transactions in less time. Visa tests show that contactless payments are up to 25% faster than cash transactions, said 7-Eleven.

Visa looks forward to its partnership with 7-Eleven to offer the very latest in payment technology and to make check-out faster and easier for consumers, said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president of product development and management, Visa. Now, more than ever, Visa cardholders are looking for payment choices, and they want to spend less time making everyday purchases. Visa and 7-Eleven are addressing this demand with the roll out of Visa Contactless.

To use Chase cards with blink, cardmembers hold their card near a point-of-sale POS terminal at checkout, instead of swiping their card or handing it to a store employee. The terminal will emit a signal or tone to acknowledge payment confirmation.

We believe these innovative cards with blink will provide merchants and cardmembers with the increased speed and convenience they want at the point of sale, said Carter Franke, chief marketing officer of Chase Card Services, the company's credit card division. In the future, Chase cards with blink will also allow us to reward cardmembers at the point-of-sale and provide merchants and our cobrand partners with an opportunity to build even stronger customer loyalty programs.

In each market, Chase plans to offer its cardmembers hundreds of merchant locations accepting Chase cards with blink, providing them with numerous opportunities to make everyday purchases quickly in places where they might normally use cash. Consumers can use cards with blink everywhere they currently use credit cardsanywhere Visa and MasterCard are acceptedplus, use the new blink functionality wherever contactless payments are accepted. The cards hold the same data and security features that enable traditional credit card transactions. Cardmembers may also use Chase cards with blink just as they would a traditional credit card with a magnetic stripe.

By the end of 2005, Chase plans to have thousands of merchant locations accepting Chase cards with blink across the country.

Beginning with the first market, Chase will launch a fully integrated marketing and advertising campaign to help educate local consumers and cardmembers about Chase cards with blink. The local campaigns will encourage cardmembers to blink lunch, blink a drink or blink a movie. The campaign will leverage TV, radio, newspaper and billboard advertising to reach consumers, and it will be complemented by several cardmember communications about the new card functionality.

In trials, the most significant time savings can be realized in the drive-thru environment, where transaction time was reduced by as much as 20 seconds as compared to cash, said Chase.

For merchants, blink transactions speed checkout times and allow consumers to spend less time waiting in lines, Chase said. Research has shown that customers who use blink cards often spend more per transaction and are happier with their store experience, it added.

Click here for a video presentation on blink featuring Tom O'Donnell, senior vice president of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'sCard Services Division, 7-Eleven's Rick Updyke and Tim Attinger, senior vice president of product development and management for Visa USA (Windows Media Player required and available for download).

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