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    Chains Expand Web-based Offerings

    7-Eleven's Vcom kiosks will accept cash for online purchases later this year, and Phillips 66 this week awarded a contract to develop and maintain its Web-based Zaplinkservices.com portal to Burnaby, British Columbia-based Info Touch Technologies Corp.

    NEW YORK - 7-Eleven's Vcom kiosks will accept cash for online purchases later this year, and Phillips 66 this week awarded a contract to develop and maintain its Web-based Zaplinkservices.com portal to Burnaby, British Columbia-based Info Touch Technologies Corp.

    Zaplinkservices.com will allow Phillips 66 customers to access applications that are usually only accessible via Phillips' Zaplink in-store e-services kiosks. Currently, ZapLink terminals to 35 Circle K stores in the greater Phoenix metro area. Zaplinkservices.com is also linked to other Phillips web resources such as circlek.com, 66.com, and 76.com. Zaplinkservices.com was also built to be wireless friendly, according to a company release.

    7-Eleven announced a strategic alliance with Marlborough, Mass.-based Cyphermint Inc., which will service as the e-commerce, advertising and Internet cash-payment system provider for the Vcom kiosks.

    "Our alliance with Cyphermint enhances the value of Vcom by providing a convenient way for more people to use or purchase e-commerce products and services," said Jim Keyes, president and CEO of 7-Eleven. "7-Eleven will open e-commerce shopping to a broader base of customers who do not have traditional Internet access or don't have or want to use credit cards, which are normally required for online purchases."

    Keyes added that the expansion of Vcom, now being tested in 98 Florida and Texas stores, is an important growth initiative for the company. The company plans to add its Vcom kiosks to each of its 5,800 stores during the next 18 months.

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