FINANCE

Circle K streamlines, secures card payments

BY CSA STAFF

Tempe, Ariz. In an effort to speed up the checkout experience, Circle K is now accepting MasterCard PayPass at select stores across the nation.

Shoppers armed with a PayPass card or device can tap it on a dedicated payment terminal to tender an order during checkout. Transactions under $25 do not require a signature or PIN.

“Our shoppers, who are regularly ‘on the go,’ will notice the speed, convenience and shorter lines that result when they tap to pay, instead of fumbling for cash and coins at checkout,” said Bryan Ritenour, business manager, fuels, Circle K.

The project is contributing to the growth of contactless payments. According to U.S. consumer research by the Smart Card Alliance, 9% of the U.S. population has a contactless payment card or device.

Circle K is also taking steps to further secure card payments and customer information, especially at the fuel pump. By partnering with Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Greensboro, N.C., the chain is adding the vendor’s FlexPay Encrypting PIN Pads and Encore S fuel dispensers. The additions will help the chain become compliant with Triple Data Encryption Standard treatment of PIN numbers entered by consumers during debit-card transactions at the pumps.

The upgrades will be made across all 2,000 of the chain’s U.S. locations. Circle K expects to complete remediations before the upcoming PCI DSS July 2010 deadline, which will focus on data-security standards pertaining to PIN entry devices.

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RadioShack selects new ad agency

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH RadioShack announced that it has selected Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners (BSSP) as its creative advertising agency of record.

“We are excited about the addition of BSSP to our team and are confident they will provide the strategically consistent creative we are counting on to evolve our brand’s positioning,” said Lee Applbaum, RadioShack’s chief marketing officer. “BSSP has a track record of delivering innovative solutions that break through the advertising clutter and resonate with consumers. They will be a valuable partner as we continue to develop our brand.”

BSSP’s scope of work will include strategic and account planning and creative development across all channels, including digital and new media. RadioShack reported total advertising expenses of $214.5 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31.

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Barnes & Noble opens customer service center

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble has opened its new customer service center. The 30,000 square foot facility located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, formerly located in nearby Secaucus, will employ 200 customer care professionals and features state-of-the-art technology and training facilities.

“While the trend at many consumer companies is to outsource call center operations, we are proud to make this significant investment in both technology and in our people that not only keeps jobs in our country, but right in our own backyard,” said William Lynch, president of Barnes & Noble.com. “Exceptional customer service is why the Barnes & Noble brand consistently ranks number one in consumer satisfaction for online and traditional retail. This new facility will allow us to continue our commitment to offer the best service to both our store and online customers.”

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