Magazine article American Banker

Wisconsin Bank Calls Debit Card a Smash in Stores

Magazine article American Banker

Wisconsin Bank Calls Debit Card a Smash in Stores

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- Shoppers are lining up to pay for their groceries by electronic debit card at two Milwaukee-area supermarkets.

And their enthusiasm has been such that the pilot test of the new payment system has been called a success after only two weeks.

In the first week, shoppers made 415 card transactions totaling $23,000. In the second week, they used the cards 1,024 times for purchases totaling $38,000.

"The response has been outstanding," said Ron Flaiani, vice president of Marine Bank of Milwaukee. "We're already looking at putting this in other stores and finding other uses for it."

The electronic payment system is the first in any Wisconsin grocery store and one of the first in the United States. Marine Bank bought and sponsored the installation of two electronic point-of-sale terminals -- made by Atalla Corp. -- under an agreement with the Tyme Corp. electronic banking network. The machines can be used by any customer with a Tyme debit card, such as Marine Money Card, Visa, or MasterCard II, as long as that card is linked to a checking account. Flyers and Demonstrations

Marine installed the machines in two Roundy's Pick 'n' Save stores, then worked to instill consumer confidence by handing out flyers in the supermarkets and advertising in local newspapers. It also had a banker use an off-line terminal in each store to demonstrate how the card works -- a key factor in getting shoppers to switch funds from their checking account to the supermarket's account. …

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