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August 9, 2003

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RFID for Credit Card Users
American Express introduces ExpressPay program in Phoenix, leveraging radio frequency identification technology


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by Demir Barlas, Line56

Thursday, July 17, 2003

American Express has begun to use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in a pilot program centered in the greater Phoenix area.

American Express has created a key chain attachment (known as a "fob") named ExpressPay that serves just like a credit card, except that users don't have to sign for their purchases. Users merely wave the ExpressPay fob in front of a reader at a merchant's location (participants including Carl's Jr., Dairy Queen, Quiznos, Schlotzky's, and Kwik Kopy Printing).

According to a statement from David Bonalle, VP and GM of the Advanced Payments group within American Express, "We have found in testing that consumers prefer using their ExpressPay key fob rather than fumbling for their wallets, while merchants enjoy the benefits of their customers' increased spending and reduced time at the checkout counter."

Specifically, figures released by American Express disclose that, at participating merchant locations, customers are spending an average of 20 to 30 percent more on credit rather than cash transactions, and that checkout times are down between 30 and 40 percent.

American Express has worked with technology partner Texas Instruments RFID Systems on the pilot.

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