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    Sheetz Rolls Out Contactless Payment Option

    Retailer allows customers to pay via Visa card without swiping.

    ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. announced it has begun accepting Visa Contactless payments, a new feature on Visa cards that uses RFID (radio frequency identification) technology allowing customers to complete a transaction by holding their card near a secure reader at checkout.

    The company installed 1,000 contactless card readers at 310 Sheetz locations throughout 2005, joining 7-Eleven, which has rolled out the contactless payment option in all of its stores.

    The transactions utilize a capability embedded in the card that contains payment information, which can be processed quickly and securely at the POS terminal. All other aspects of the transaction are handled just like 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, Sheetz Inc. “The whole idea is to simply add another layer of convenience for our customers.”

    The system eliminates the need for a signature for payments under $25, while cardholders receive Visa’s standard security protections, including zero liability for fraudulent charges and Visa’s anti-fraud technology.

    Contactless payments allow Sheetz to process more transactions in less time and significantly improve operating efficiencies, the company said. According to Visa tests,
    contactless payments are up to 25 percent faster than cash transactions and enable merchants to track the day’s receipts electronically.

    “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, 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."

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