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March 22, 2005

New merchants join American Express contactless payments program

American Express has gained two new partners in its ExpressPay contactless payments program - Ritz Camera, a retail camera and photo chain, and convenience store Sheetz.

By CBR Staff Writer

The ExpressPay system uses chips based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology either in the form of a key ring attachment or embedded in a traditional American Express card. The user waves either device next to a reader at the checkout counter, the idea being to facilitate purchases by eliminating the need for a signature.

Sheetz is rolling out ExpressPay in its 305 convenience stores, with the next phase of enabling the system at its gas pumps expected in June. Ritz Camera will install the program in each of its stores, beginning in New York and Phoenix.

According to American Express, many point-of-sale (POS) and reader manufacturers are integrating RFID technology into their POS equipment, enabling them to read ExpressPay and other contactless payment products. Rivals Visa and MasterCard have both launched their own systems and recently partnered to comply with a common communications protocol for the system installment at the point of sale.

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