7-Eleven Stores Serve as Launch Pad for Airfair Lifeline Reload Card

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. now offers the Airfair Lifeline Reload card at participating stores. It is the first national retailer to sell the product.

Airfair, launched through a partnership between prepaid product and transaction services company Incomm and wireless telecommunications provider Ready Wireless, offers Lifeline-eligible telecommunication companies (ETC) simple reload options for all of its customers through one universal product.

"When we heard about the Airfair Lifeline Reload card, we immediately knew this was something we wanted to offer our customers in our stores," said Rebecca Frechette, 7-Eleven's vice president of merchandising. "Lifeline is an incredibly important benefits program. Now, through the Airfair reloadable card, our stores can make it easier for Lifeline consumers to purchase the extra cell phone minutes they need."

Customers can pay in cash to reload their Lifeline phones with additional minutes, texts or data by purchasing the Airfair card, which is activated at the point-of-sale.

Lifeline is a government-benefit program that helps low-income Americans gain access to phone services, find employment, be safe and connect to health services, Incomm said. The Airfair card allows consumers to purchase additional cell phone minutes or other features in person instead of online, which is difficult for those who do not have credit or debit cards.

"Lifeline customers want to use their wireless Lifeline phone as their primary phone," said Fred Haumesser, co-founder and executive vice president of sales for Ready Wireless. "Beyond the initial minutes provided through the Lifeline phone, they want to purchase more minutes and texts. Considering that many are purely cash-based and ETCs have little retail presence, fulfilling this demand has been difficult.

"Through our partnership with InComm, we're now able to offer a universal card for all Lifeline ETCs, which gives them retail presence while making it very easy for their customers to purchase the extra air time they need," he added. "InComm's expertise and vast reach with retailers nationwide made them a perfect partner in this launch."

Consumers can choose from $5, $10, $20, $30 and $50 payment options at participating 7-Eleven locations. After making the purchase, they simply need to call a redemption number on the back of the card to receive the additional minutes.

"Convenience stores often serve as one-stop shopping destinations for consumers," said Frank Squilla, senior vice president of sales at InComm. "It was a natural fit for us to make the Airfair program available to cash-based customers who would otherwise not have access to this product. Lifeline service providers can now pull together around this one card and make it available for purchase at thousands of retail locations around the country. ETCs can increase sales opportunities, consumers now have significantly more flexibility, and retailers have the opportunity to increase foot traffic in their stores."