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Monday, February 24, 2003
BLACKSTONE BEGINS NATIONWIDE DEPLOYMENT OF SELF-SERVICE, INTERACTIVE KIOSKS
Blackstone (www.blackstoneonline.com), a pioneer of the prepaid telecommunications industry, announced today the nationwide deployment of its patent pending interactive kiosk. According to Mike Acton, Blackstone’s general manager, “The kiosk offers the retailer an entire category of prepaid products and services – prepaid cellular & long distance calling cards, gift certificates & gift cards, home phone service, prepaid credit cards, traffic school, loyalty programs, etc. - without worrying about staffing, inventory, shelf space, training or theft. Plus, the kiosk does all the work as the user-friendly audio and touch-screen display guides the customer through the entire process, including the selection of the best calling card with the maximum minutes.” Unlike traditional vending machines, the Blackstone kiosk does not display or store live inventory. e-PINs are delivered and the system prints the requested product onto durable thermal paper stock once payment has been received; thus, ensuring product availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Blackstone is continuously updating the products and services which are automatically downloaded via a dedicated phone line. “For our most recent consumer test which ran November 2002 – January 2003, nationally recognized retail chains in the grocery, convenience and pharmacy channels were selected and kiosks were strategically placed in stores throughout Miami and the outlying metropolitan areas. At one location, the kiosk sold more [in the prepaid category] in one weekend than the category had done in the entire previous year! Needless to say, the test has been deemed a tremendous success by all parties and we are now in the process of deploying the kiosks nationwide,” adds Acton. A pioneer of the prepaid telecommunications industry, Blackstone is currently one of the country’s largest providers of prepaid products and services with over 300,000 retail locations nationwide. Established and headquartered in Miami, Florida since 1995, Blackstone provides innovative solutions to local, national and international companies seeking to maximize their full potential – from calling cards, POS terminals, merchant processing, marketing & distribution to self-service, interactive kiosks – Blackstone offers a complete array of services to design, integrate and maintain high-impact, strategic business solutions via our global network of alliances and resources. Blackstone POS, Blackstone V-Commerce and Blackstone e-Vending are trademarks of Blackstone Communications Co.; US and foreign patents pending.