American Express pushes ahead with ExpressPay wireless payment system


Instead of paying for goods and services with cash or credit cards, customers could soon be paying with a wave of the hand as the latest Wireless Payment system from credit card giant American Express continues to expand.

AMEX's ExpressPay wireless payment system is already demonstrating a fast payback for both retailers and customers and is attracting widespread interest for its ability to cut payment transaction time by as much as 42% at the till while significantly reducing queuing for customers.

This latest payment technology uses Radio Frequency Identification chip technology from Texas Instruments embedded in a keyfob. Customers simply wave the keyfob in front of a special POS reader to make a virtually instant payment transaction. The result is greater throughput for retailers and happier customers who appreciate speedier transactions and shorter checkout queues - plus the added benefit of not having to find cash or fumble for credit cards. Its just a case of wave and go.

With the new ExpressPay system, typical payment transactions average just 8.9 seconds - about 28% faster than cash and 42% faster than credit card transactions.

In just a few months the initial launch programme that began with 175 retail and service locations has doubled to more than 350 outlets in and around Phoenix in Texas. Well-known brands involved in fast food (Carl's Jr), printing (Kwik Kopy Printing), pharmacies, Dairy Queen icecream outlets, delicatessens and sandwich sellers (Quiznos Subs and Schlotzsky's Deli, convenience stores, specialty shops etc are already participating. Altogether over 200 merchants have now opted into the ExpressPay programme which is undergoing a major public launch in the Phoenix, Texas area. In addition, thousands of customers have signed up to take advantage of the program by registering their bank details etc so that payments are automatically charged to their chosen account giving them the freedom to shop without cards or cash.

ExpressPay is the latest development in wireless payment technology and is ideal as an easy-to-use alternative for making purchases at retail outlets where speed and convenience are important - especially quick-serve restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations, and company cafeterias. Similar programmes are also underway by American Express in Singapore, involving some 2,000 current American Express card members. ExpressPay users in Singapore will be able to pay for purchases with their keyfobs at more than 170 merchant locations. Further details about this new pilot are expected in Q1 2004. Exxon-Mobil, Shell Canada and McDonald's have also launched RFID payment systems based on TI's industry leading technology.

David Hyslop, Sales Manager Texas Instruments RFID Systems in the UK said, "Our RFID technology offers retailers and banks a revolutionary new way to carry out transactions while streamlining payments for both retailers and customers and improving security against credit card fraud."

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