VOL. 127 | NO. 146 | Friday, July 27, 2012
MAPCO to Debut Bill Payment Kiosks
By Andy Meek
MAPCO Express Inc. has signed a deal with TIO Networks Corp. to deploy 37 bill pay kiosks in MAPCO convenience stores across Memphis and Nashville.
The arrangement will allow MAPCO customers to pay bills to a variety of vendors using cash at participating stores with the option for same-day payment processing. TIO Networks has partnered with several local and national billers including Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Dish Networks and DirecTV, among others.
Customers can make payments in English or Spanish with real-time processing and access to customer service.
“We’ve been around about 14 years, and we specialize in bill payment processing for the country’s largest utilities, wireless carriers, cable companies, and others,” said Rob Goehring, chief marketing officer with TIO Networks. “We aggregate the ability to pay all these bills and offer these companies the ability for their customers to then easily pay all these bills in a variety of ways. And a lot of it is via these kiosks, which are self-service.
“These are people who ... want to do things like get gas, grab a few things and do a couple bill pays all in one stop.”
–Rob Goehring, Chief marketing officer with TIO Networks
“What we do from a distribution standpoint is partner with really great convenience store chains like MAPCO and other folks to put these kiosks out into their retail locations where consumers can then have access to pay those bills. Our network supports over 10,000 different billers, but of course if you were to walk up to one of our kiosks at a MAPCO store, you’d be initially presented with the eight to 12 key billers in your region in Memphis.”
The kiosks will be able to handle payments with debit and credit cards. But Goehring said the biggest beneficiary is likely to be the consumer who falls under the blanket term of “unbanked” – the kind of consumer who prefers to mainly use cash, who may underutilize or not even use at all the services associated with a traditional bank like a checking account.
“These are people who are going to a convenience store and want to do things like get gas, grab a few things and do a couple bill pays all in one stop,” Goehring said.
TIO is a cloud-based bill payment processor serving the largest telecom, wireless, cable and utility bill issuers in North America. MAPCO Express Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delek US Holdings Inc., based in Brentwood, Tenn.
Delek operates 420 convenience stores in eight states.
TIO’s services – such as its arrangement with MAPCO – are becoming increasingly in demand as consumers gravitate toward wanting more mobile payment options for various bills. From MAPCO’s perspective, the arrangement also facilitates the increased trend toward more one-stop shopping destinations – the same reason, for example, that some department stores now include grocery options, eye care, bakeries and bill payment options all under one roof.
“Giving our customers an easy, safe and convenient opportunity to pay a variety of bills was a no-brainer,” said Tony Miller, MAPCO vice president of sales and merchandising.