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ExxonMobil Making Radio Waves

Exxon Mobil Corp., which operates 4,000 Tigermarket, Tiger Express and On The Run convenience stores, is rolling out its proprietary Speedpass payment system to nearly 1,600 Exxon-branded stores and plans to add the system to another 1,000 locations by year's end.

The Speedpass payment system enables customers to instantly charge their fuel and convenience store purchases without reaching for credit cards or cash. Rather, the system uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to transfer customers' credit-card data from a transponder to the stores' point-of-sale (POS) system.

"We're pleased to begin offering the Speedpass system at Exxon-branded stations," said Hal Cramer, president of ExxonMobil's Fuels Marketing Co. "Speedpass has proven to be very popular with our more than five million Mobil Speedpass users, and we think our Exxon customers will enjoy it as well. This expansion will allow our customers to use Speedpass at more than 6,800 Exxon and Mobil service stations and convenience stores from coast to coast."

Customers enrolled in the free Speedpass program simply wave the miniature transponder attached to their key chain in front of an electronic reader located at the pump or at the checkout counter.

Using radio frequency signals, the system instantly recognizes the customer and then obtains the authorization from the customer's credit card or check card. There is no need to search for wallets or purses, credit cards or cash, which makes transactions faster and easier.

ExxonMobil research shows that the Speedpass system has high consumer awareness and nearly 90 percent of Speedpass users are "highly satisfied," Cramer added. Tracking from gasoline purchases using Speedpass shows that customers typically log one to two additional visits to the retail location each month.

In the future, customers may be able to use the Speedpass system for faster, easier and more convenient purchases of everything from fast food to video rentals to prescription drugs. Following a successful nine-store test, McDonald's recently approved a 400-plus restaurant expansion of Speedpass in the Chicago area.
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