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    BP Chooses PayPoint

    Tech firm to serve as payment processor for 15,000 U.S. c-stores.

    LOS ANGELES -- In an effort to streamline and upgrade its payment processing, London-based BP Plc partnered with PayPoint Electronic Payment Systems as payment processor for BP's U.S. network of 15,000 BP, Amoco and ARCO convenience stores.

    The move is expected to give BP a more efficient payment processing operation while exposing it to PayPoint's payment processing services.

    "We needed to consolidate our BP, Amoco and ARCO payment processing networks into one more effective network while maintaining a high level of service," said Bill Tait, BP's manager of retail site infrastructure. "We were looking for one quality environment run by a professional payment processing specialist. When we analyzed it, PayPoint was the obvious choice."

    Created in 1984 to help ARCO launch PIN-based card payments at the island, PayPoint added non-petroleum clients in the 1990s while continuing to process payments for parent ARCO. After BP acquired ARCO in 2000, BP had separate payment processing entities for its BP, Amoco and ARCO convenience stores.

    "By simplifying our payment processing we are improving our capabilities without increasing our costs," said Tait. "We think payment processing will evolve in the coming decade, with more payment offerings, different security issues, and new bank settlement requirements."

    To consolidate BP, Amoco and ARCO into one PayPoint payment system, PayPoint has launched a 12-month "card authorization project." The company will add links to eight new varieties of BP point-of-sale (POS) terminal platforms, while also adding links with new proprietary card and fleet card providers. The move to PayPoint will not impact dealers and jobbers, Tait said.

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