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Circle K Pushing Internet Access


Convenience store customers will soon be able to utilize a complete array of new electronic services through ZapLink public access kiosks in selected Circle K locations.

Bartlesville, Okla.-based Phillips Petroleum Co. yesterday said it reached agreements with Global Access Alliance Inc. (GAA) and Info Touch Technologies Corp. to provide Circle K customers with high-speed Internet access and other services through proprietary kiosks. These Internet kiosks provide Circle K customers with a greater level of convenience by offering a variety of services, including:
* Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for telephone calls anywhere in the world;
* Video teleconferencing;
* Prepaid telecommunications, such as long distance and cellular;
* Local news and information, including a locator service for maps and driving directions;
* Bill payment, including cash payments for Internet purchases; and
* E-mail access and online shopping.

The kiosk technology offers Circle K opportunities for customized programs such as in-store or system-wide online promotional coupons. In addition, each kiosk provider will operate a separate point-of-sale (POS) screen at the checkout counter to create ongoing media revenues. Usage fees will range from free to 20 cents per minute, based on the type of technology a kiosk customer chooses.

"Our marketing team and our kiosk partners have worked hard to create a unique kiosk presentation that expands the types of products and services available electronically and has a strong advertising component," said Doug Hecker, retail marketing manager for Phillips 66. "We think customers will respond very positively to the new technologies we are bringing to the convenience store format."

The companies will test the Internet kiosk service at 75 Circle K locations in two primary markets, Phoenix and Philadelphia, this fall. If the kiosks are successful, a larger rollout is planned for early 2002. "We have selected two outstanding companies to test this new Internet kiosk service and are counting on them to help us make technology convenient for our customers," said David Holthe, vice president of retail operations for Phillips 66.
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