Industry News | January 19, 2006

American Express Announces McDonald's to Accept ExpressPay for Contactless Payments

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American Express today announced McDonald's USA as the latest national merchant partner to accept ExpressPay from American Express. Cardholders can use ExpressPay at more than 12,000 McDonald's restaurants nationwide.

ExpressPay from American Express is a fast contactless payment option that consists of a secure computer chip powered by radio frequency technology. The feature is an easy-to-use alternative to cash for making everyday purchases at merchants where speed and convenience are important -- such as quick service restaurants, supermarkets, drug stores and gas stations.

American Express was the first issuer to launch contactless cards nationally with the rollout of Blue from American Express(R) with the ExpressPay feature in June 2005. ExpressPay is also embedded in the Clear from American Express(SM) Card and available via a key fob that can be linked to any American Express(R) Card. Users simply hold the Card or key fob with ExpressPay next to a special reader near the register to complete a purchase.

Payment is authorized in seconds and no signature is required for most purchases. The computer chip enables end-to-end transaction security. Blue and Clear from American Express Cards also have a magnetic strip and function as traditional credit cards.

"ExpressPay from American Express is an innovative cashless payment option that's value-added for our customers," said Jim Sappington, Vice President, Information Technology for McDonald's USA. "The technology is fast and convenient and that's exactly what McDonald's customers are looking for."

"We are delighted about our partnership with McDonald's to further build ExpressPay's momentum in the marketplace and help customers gain even greater speed and convenience when visiting McDonald's," said David Bonalle, Vice President and General Manager of Advanced Payments for American Express. "The adoption of contactless payments is growing rapidly as consumers and more and more merchants across a wide range of industries begin to use this new technology and experience the benefits."

American Express has been working with contactless payments since 2002. The company's initial pilots involved thousands of consumers making more than a million transactions with ExpressPay at hundreds of merchants. Test results showed that, on average, ExpressPay transactions are 63 percent faster than using cash. Market research with pilot participants also confirmed that consumers view convenience and simplicity of use as two of the major benefits. For merchants, important benefits include reduced transaction and service time for customers on the go. Also, the ExpressPay reader uses the merchants' existing network infrastructure, so the system can be simply installed without lengthy or costly upgrades.

American Express continues to sign national and regional contactless payment merchants. Merchants now accepting ExpressPay include: McDonald's, AMC Theatres, Boater's World, CVS/pharmacy(R), Duane Reade, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Meijer retail supercenters, Regal Entertainment Group, Ritz Camera and Sheetz.