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TAMPA, Fla. – Seven weeks ago, Coast to Coast president Amer Hawatmeh opened the doors of his new c-store that features the latest and greatest in retail technology, which includes Pay By Touch's BioPay biometric payment technology, where customers scan their fingerprint to complete payment.
The store has had more than 250 people sign up for the service since its opening, Hawatmah told CSNews Online, and the device links a person's checking account to their fingerprint. The technology charges a flat fee for its use, rather than a percentage like credit and debit payments, and the cost saving option "made all the sense in the world," said Hawatmah.
The store features signage and displays that inform customers of the technology and the kiosk used to sign up for the service is also prominently featured in the store, Hawatmeh explained.
He heard about the finger scan technology in November of 2005 and after doing extensive research, decided this was the technology he needed.
Hawatmeh, a 35-year industry veteran, has also spent time in the restaurant industry. He has combined those two industries into a store concept and brought in the best technology to create his new store, he reported to CSNews Online. He is always looking for the next thing for his stores, and recalled a time when he was the first to get the ExxonMobil Speedpass technology when he was with Wawa.
The 4,800-square-foot store that Hawatmeh calls a "family convenience center," sits on a two acre lot, has full gas and diesel stations, and a "sharper image look," including African mahogany accents, a coffee bar that could compete with Starbucks, an 85-foot full service conveyor, and a deli that's "out of this world," he said. The store also has a car wash capable of serving 120 cars an hour.
Coast to Coast has three more c-stores in the works and, if successful, will go nationwide. "The concept is to expand as far as we can go. It's coast to coast," said Hawatmeh.