TREVOSE, PA — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider, and Wawa Food Markets have teamed up to speed customers through its gas pump islands. Wawa's customers can now conduct faster gasoline credit card purchases thanks to an innovative use of Verizon Wireless' Mobile Internet Protocol (IP) Network. Wawa will process the purchases using a wireless modem from AirLink and transmitting over Verizon Wireless' data network - speeding credit card authorization time to as fast as eight seconds.
"Wawa welcomes the opportunity to improve the speed of service to our customers," said Anthony Ieradi, IT Architecture Manager for Wawa. "Now, by using the latest data technology, we can do this by reducing credit card authorization times at the pumps. Implementing functionality like this helps us deliver on our promise to make our customers' lives easier every day."
After lab testing, a successful pilot was launched at the Wawa in Malaga, New Jersey. Currently, 42 Wawa stores - half of which are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware - across five northeastern states have the wireless IP data capability.
Wawa plans to deploy this technology at additional gasoline sites in the near future.
"We commend Wawa's unique approach to improving customer satisfaction. Wawa's success demonstrates how, with a little imagination, business customers can take advantage of Verizon Wireless' advanced data capabilities to solve everyday business problems and improve operations," said Ann McCrystal, president, Philadelphia Tri-State region, Verizon Wireless. "Verizon Wireless is proud to work with innovators such as Wawa and AirLink to demonstrate that practical wireless data applications are not coming 'in the near future' but are here now to help support a wide range of operational objectives."
Wawa first tested the program as a joint effort with support from Verizon Wireless, AirLink Communications, and its credit card processor, Concord EFS, at Wawa's "Business Solutions Technology Lab." By integrating existing point-of-sale software with the modem from AirLink Communications, wait time for payment authorization was significantly reduced, improving service to Wawa customers.
Verizon Wireless' Mobile IP network is a wireless WAN (wide area network). The company operates the largest, most advanced wireless network in the country and has invested more than $100 million in the Philadelphia Tri-State region network in 2001.
About AirLink Communications
AirLink Communications is a leading solutions provider helping organizations put their remote commercial assets on line. AirLink's family of products include communications platforms, end-user software applications, intelligent clients, and APIs for integration with other enterprise software. AirLink provides solutions ranging from tracking tour buses in Hawaii to monitoring gas wells in Oklahoma, anywhere there is a need for real-time two-way communications with remote assets. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.airlink.com.
About Wawa, Inc.
Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a processing plant in Wawa, Pennsylvania, in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness, and "certified" process.
As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960's, Grahame Wood, George's grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, the company operates more than 500 stores in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and employs more than 13,000 associates. To learn more about Wawa on the Web, access www.wawa.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.