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Supermarket chain debuts combination debit and loyalty card

February 28, 2013

Safeway, the second largest supermarket chain in the United States, recently revealed a new payment method that combines the benefits of a debit card with the convenience of a prepaid reward card to reduce costs.

Safeway, the second largest supermarket chain in the United States, recently revealed a new payment method that combines the benefits of a debit card with the convenience of a prepaid reward card to reduce costs.

According the San Francisco Business Times, the grocery store aims to avoid fees incurred at the credit card terminal through its new Fast Forward payment option. Like a traditional debit card, the tool is linked to shoppers’ checking accounts, but the company will send a request for an electronic funds transfer to circumvent charges.

“This is a unique program. It benefits our customers by offering a secure, convenient way to shop and allow them one card for payment, Club Card discounts and ‘Just for U’ discounts,” Safeway spokeswoman Teena Massingill told the San Francisco Business Times. “All personal information is kept completely confidential.”

According to Sail, a mobile commerce platform, the benefits of implementing a prepaid reward card program include increasing sales and building a large client base through word of mouth. Happy customers are likely to refer their friends. Programs like Fast Forward may allow businesses to use their savings to provide better rewards, which could translate into more interest in their services.

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