SOURCE: Debitman

October 09, 2006 09:00 ET

Wawa Joins Debitman Network

Leading Convenience Store Chain Will Introduce PIN-Based Rewards Debit Card to Its Customers

LAS VEGAS, NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 9, 2006 -- NACS 2006, Booth #8423 -- Debitman Card, Inc., creator of The Retailer's Network, today announced that Wawa, Inc., the privately owned convenience store chain, has joined the payment network and will issue the private-label Wawa Check Card. The card will reward customer loyalty with an initial $5.00 gift card after the first use, followed by cash rebates on every purchase.

Wawa, which operates more than 550 stores in the mid-Atlantic region and is perennially ranked in the top 100 of Forbes Magazine's list of America's Largest Private Companies, will initiate a pilot phase in late October in the Pennsylvania and Maryland markets. The initial phase is expected to last 90 days, followed by a potential chain-wide implementation.

"Debitman provides us with the opportunity to reduce the cost of credit and debit card interchange fees, enabling us to share the savings with our customers through an easy-to-use cash rebate program," said Bob Riesenbach, Wawa Manager of New Initiatives. "The Wawa Check Card is available to any customer with a bank account in good standing, regardless of credit rating, and provides a convenient and safe payment alternative that can be used at many other leading retailers across the U.S."

Consumers who use the Wawa Check Card will enjoy the convenience of using the card at more than 200,000 merchant locations in the U.S. that participate in the Retailer's Network, including Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and CVS. They'll also earn rebates whenever they use the card at participating Wawa stores or anywhere else Debitman-enabled cards are accepted. Rebates will be deposited monthly directly into the customer's bank account that is linked to the Wawa Check Card.

Mike Grossman, CEO of Debitman, welcomed Wawa to the growing ranks of retailers who are seeking to gain control over the costs of electronic payments. "PIN-based debit cards are ideal for the convenience store market, because consumers prefer them to credit cards for smaller purchases such as coffee and a hoagie," Grossman said. "Debitman's minimal interchange fees make it possible for merchants to combine debit and loyalty rewards programs for customers in a cost-effective manner."

Debitman provides all card-accepting merchants with a low fee per transaction that is significantly less expensive than traditional credit and debit cards, and provides card-issuing merchants with merchandising rebates that can be used to promote their cards.

About Wawa:

Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, traces its roots back to 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Owner George Wood started a dairy processing plant in Wawa, Pennsylvania, in 1902. The milk business was a success, due to its quality, cleanliness and "certified" process. In 1964, George's grandson Grahame Wood opened the first Wawa Food Market in Folsom, PA. Today, the company operates more than 550 stores in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Company is known for its quality Wawa branded and private label products including award-winning coffee and freshly prepared hoagies. Wawa consistently ranks among Forbes' top 100 privately held companies. "Wawa" is the Lenni-Lenape Indian word for Canadian goose in flight.

About Debitman

Debitman® created and operates The Retailer's Network, the only national, interoperable electronic payment network for retailer-issued debit cards. Founded in 2000 with a commitment to lowering interchange fees for card transactions and generating revenue for card-issuing retailers, the company is privately held and headquartered in San Mateo, CA. For additional information, visit www.debitman.com.

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