BEDMINSTER, NJ — To address the growing need of more than 3.5 million retail merchants for faster, cheaper credit card processing, Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced the establishment of its AirBridge(r) Wireless Retail Solutions Group. Using its wireless data technology, Bell Atlantic Mobile is providing merchants with a secure, high-speed, wireless alternative to traditional dial-up credit card swipe machines.
Supporting this initiative, Bell Atlantic Mobile also announced today a joint marketing agreement with U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. (OTCBB: USWDA) to distribute USWD's proprietary TRANZ( Enabler wireless credit card processing system for the retail market. The system uses Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge® Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network.
Beginning today, Bell Atlantic Mobile representatives will work with U.S. Wireless Data to target U.S. merchants who currently own and operate more than 3 million VeriFone TRANZ 330, 380, or 460 dial-up terminals and offer them a complete wireless system using their existing terminals. The solution will also be marketed to merchants using other types of credit card terminals, as well as to merchants and service providers who may not currently accept credit card payments.
USWD's proprietary enabling technology, TRANZ Enabler, converts a merchant's existing dial-up TRANZ VeriFone credit-card terminal into a high-speed wireless terminal. It gives merchants a faster, cheaper way to transact business. The wireless transaction using Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge CDPD network takes 3 to 5 seconds, vs. 11 to 20 seconds with a dial-up service. Going wireless means the merchant no longer needs a dedicated or shared telephone line to carry transaction traffic, thereby eliminating delays, busy signals and the cost to install or pay for monthly telephone service. And because it's wireless, the merchant can transact business anywhere the customer wishes to buy, instead of being confined to a service counter with a telephone line. Because of this flexibility, this solution is also attractive to mobile merchants and service providers, such as mall kiosk retailers, taxi/limo drivers, plumbers/electricians, and delivery personnel, who may have previously limited payment to cash and bank checks.
"In today's retail environment, superior customer service is the name of the game, and merchants are relying on companies like Bell Atlantic Mobile for new technologies to provide their customers with better, faster and more convenient services," stated Jack Plating, chief operating officer of Bell Atlantic Mobile. "Our new AirBridge Wireless Retail Solutions Group provides solutions, such as today's agreement with USWD, that give merchants flexible options for conducting credit card transactions - and ultimately capturing more sales."
Commenting on the agreement, Evon Kelly, CEO of USWD stated, "This agreement with Bell Atlantic Mobile brings U.S. Wireless Data one step closer to having nationwide distribution of our TRANZ Enabler product using CDPD carriers. It is of significant importance because Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast, the most densely populated area in the United States. The potential market for this service is immense as more than 32 billion credit card transactions in over 3.5 million merchant locations throughout the U.S. take place each year."
Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge CDPD network will provide merchants connectivity that offers speed, portability and reliability. CDPD efficiently and securely transmits packets of data over the wireless network and is well suited to point-of-sale transactions. CDPD is fully encrypted and operates on its own dedicated channels to provide a clear path for transmission at all times.
Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the East, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retails outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, N.J., Bell Atlantic Mobile has more than 5 million customers and 7,000 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and -- through a separate subsidiary -- the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community relations program, which includes HopeLine voice mail service, Bell Atlantic Mobile uses its wireless technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications.
U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. has developed, tested and is now delivering new proprietary products, programs and standards for the transaction processing and credit card industry which utilizes wireless networks such as the Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge® CDPD network. USWD delivers the fastest and most cost-effective transaction processing solution to retail merchants in the United States today.
Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge® Wireless Retail Solutions provides merchants with a secure, high-speed wireless alternative to traditional dial-up credit card swipe machines. Following are examples of merchants using Bell Atlantic Mobile's wireless data technology combined with a wireless credit card processing system from U.S. Wireless Data, Inc.
- Woodward Liquor, Burlington, MA -- Dissatisfied with the slowness of their credit card processing equipment, Mike Woodward looked for a product that would provide faster and more efficient processing. The wireless system reduced credit card processing time from 30 or 40 seconds a card down to 6 or 7 seconds resulting in better customer service, increased sales and even less credit card fraud. The success of the system was most evident during the holiday season when customers were pleased to find that their orders were processed and bagged simultaneously without the usual wait.
- Rapunzel, New York, NY -- Susan Freeman, sole owner of Rapunzel, a kiosk selling upscale hair accessories, used to balk at taking credit cards because of the hassle. She accepted one company's card -- but then she had to find a phone to process the credit card charge. Today, it's easy for Freeman to accept all credit cards and process them almost instantly. "People often ask me if I'll take a credit card. They'll be holding one item, and when I say, 'yes,' they'll pick up three more," said Freeman.
- Boston Gardens, Boston, MA -- Brandon McCue owns Boston Gardens, a thriving florist serving the Greater Boston area with a retail store and outdoor flower stand in historic Faneuil Hall. By using a wireless system, he has been able to process charge sales without delays and increase his outdoor stand sales. Formerly, card processing was impossible on Valentine's Day because Boston Gardens processed sales through a network that also processed sales for every other florist in the nation. With the wireless equipment there are no delays, customers are happier and receive a more professional-looking sales receipt.
- Columbus Perfumery, New York, NY -- Mike Sethi, co-owner of Columbus Perfumery, knows that speed in credit card processing can make the difference between making a sale or losing one at the upscale retail fragrance boutique. People often stop in to browse during a night on the town. "Within seconds, a customer can put down a purchase, and say 'Forget about it. I'll come back tomorrow.' That's more likely to happen if they're kept waiting in line. With this equipment, sometimes people even say, 'Oh, that was quick.'"
- Klock Kart, Boston, MA -- Jean Lechten's Klock Kart, located in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, offers novelty, unusual and collectible/limited edition clocks. Before using a wireless system, Jean had dreaded taking credit card purchases, which is 50% of her business, because she had no way to process them at the remotely located vendor cart. She had to wait until the end of her workday to process them. This procedure wasted time and she lost up to 15% of sales because of fraud, stolen cards, or rejected credit. Since using the new system, the Klock Kart has increased sales by at least 10%, customers are serviced more rapidly and Jean now feels confident taking charge card sales. Contact: