Sheetz, Wright Express Launch NFC Pilot to Field Test Mobile Payments with Fleet Vehicle Drivers
ViVOtech Enables First Real-Time Card e.Wallet for Mobile Phones
South Portland, ME. January 12, 2009–Sheetz convenience stores and Wright Express Corporation (NYSE: WXS) have announced the launch of the first multi-city trial of a ground-breaking new technology that enables drivers to make fuel purchases at Sheetz locations using their mobile phones.
Drivers will be able to download over-the-air a fleet card into their specially-enabled NFC (Near Field Communication) mobile phones. They will then be able to purchase fuel by merely tapping their phones at the contactless payment readers installed in more than 350 participating Sheetz locations throughout Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.
The pilot, which begins in January 2009, is a first for both Sheetz and Wright Express, who are collaborating with ViVOtech in testing the innovative new mobile technology to gauge its benefits and the impact on the fleet fueling industry. Drivers participating in the pilot are part of Sheetz Business Advantage fleet program.
“There are indications that the wireless phone will be the electronic wallet of the future,” said Russ Lamer, Wright Express’ manager of emerging technologies. “The goal of this field test is to enable us to better understand NFC mobile payment technology and position Wright Express to rapidly achieve leadership in this exciting new market as it develops.
“The main reason Sheetz was selected to pilot this payment technology is because they are considered a leader in convenience store technology,” said Lamer. “Sheetz has had the contactless readers at their stores for several years now and have been accepting contactless chip cards, using RFID technology for payments at the pump and in-store. ViVOtech was an obvious choice as the primary technology partner, since they are the leader in NFC mobile payment software and contactless acceptance solutions,” added Mr. Lamer.
ViVOtech provided the complete end-to-end NFC mobile solution for the trial including a mobile wallet, Over-The-Air (OTA) fleet card provisioning infrastructure software, promotion management software, and contactless/NFC terminals installed at Sheetz locations.
NFC is compatible with the ISO 14443 Contactless Standards being used in tens of millions of contactless credit and debit cards that have been issued under major brand names. There are close to half a million contactless terminals already deployed in the United States. According to Juniper Research, by 2011 about 470 million mobile phones will include NFC
ViVOtech will be showcasing its contactless and mobile phone payment solutions at the National Retail Federation (NRF) annual convention, January 11-14 in New York City at booth # 2423.
Sheetz has more than 350 high-energy locations throughout Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina that provide award-winning food, beverages and fuel savings to its customers. Total Customer Focus (“TCF”) has been at the heart of the family owned and operated business since it’s founding in 1952. With a legacy of innovation, customer focus and employee development, the company’s mission today is on meeting the needs of customers on the go. The company is committed to providing fast and friendly service, quality products in clean and convenient locations.
About Wright Express
Wright Express is a leading global provider of payment processing and information management services. Wright Express captures and combines transaction information from its proprietary network with specialized analytical tools and purchasing control capabilities in a suite of solutions that enable fleets to manage their vehicles more effectively. The Company’s charge cards are used by commercial and government fleets to purchase fuel and maintenance services for approximately 4.5 million vehicles. Wright Express markets its services directly to fleets and as an outsourcing partner for its strategic relationships and franchisees. The Company’s business portfolio includes a MasterCard-branded corporate card as well as TelaPoint, a provider of supply chain software solutions for petroleum distributors and retailers, and Pacific Pride, an independent fuel distributor franchisee network, as well as international subsidiaries. For more information about Wright Express, please visit http://www.wrightexpress.com.
ViVOtech (http://www.vivotech.com) is the market leader in Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payments, promotions and Over-the-Air (OTA) provisioning infrastructure software, transaction management software, NFC smart posters, and contactless terminals. These innovative solutions allow millions of consumers to make contactless payments with radio frequency-enabled credit/debit cards, fobs and NFC mobile phones. ViVOtech’s products are used by the most prominent retailers all over the globe and to date the company has shipped over 450,000 contactless/NFC terminals to more than 33 countries worldwide.