PayNearMe allows customers to book bus trips online or with cash, a change that is especially advantageous to the un-banked and underbanked.
7-Eleven Inc. and Greyhound, the largest North American provider of intercity bus transportation, have partnered to allow customers nationwide to purchase bus tickets online or over the phone with cash, giving them access to special fares and offerings currently available only via the Internet with a credit or debit card.
Through an innovative program in conjunction with 7-Eleven stores and PayNearMe, Greyhound’s cash customers can now purchase online and pay for their bus tickets at 7-Eleven neighborhood stores, turning them into local “Greyhound ticketing offices.”
“About 50% of Greyhound’s customers use cash to pay for their bus tickets, but until now there has not been a way to deliver exclusive online discounts to this constituency or even to allow these customers to pay for tickets in advance by phone or over the Web,” said Dave Leach, president and CEO of Greyhound. “Through our relationships with 7-Eleven and PayNearMe, we can now increase savings for all of our cash customers while eliminating the hassle of making an extra trip to the terminal. This is our way of making life easier for our loyal cash customers.”
Now, consumers interested in purchasing a Greyhound ticket with cash can go to www.greyhound.com to select a schedule and put a ticket on hold for up to 48 hours. Customers then print a payment barcode and take it to 7-Eleven stores operated and franchised by 7-Eleven Inc., where they can purchase the ticket at the register.
To make a reservation by phone, customers first go to any one of the 6,400 participating 7-Eleven stores nationwide to pick up a re-usable Greyhound card. After booking with an agent over the phone and giving the agent the unique card number, the customer’s card is swiped at a 7-Eleven outlet’s cash register, and the transaction is complete.
These new ticketing options are particularly significant to the 25% of American households that do not have a debit or credit card. For these unbanked and under-banked consumers, purchasing a transportation ticket with cash has traditionally been a time-consuming and difficult process, requiring special trips to a ticket office or the purchase of an expensive pre-paid debit card. In contrast, PayNearMe’s innovative technology allows consumers to use payment barcodes or Greyhound cards to obtain tickets in their own neighborhoods 24-hours a day.
“PayNearMe was developed under the premise that all consumers deserve the right to the same goods and services, regardless of their preferred method of payment or financial situation,” said Danny Shader, PayNearMe CEO. “Our partnership with Greyhound and 7-Eleven provides un- and underbanked consumers with more fare options, because they now have access to discounts only available on Greyhound.com.”
Greyhound tested this first-of-its-kind program in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex over a three-month period earlier this year. All 270 7-Eleven stores in the Metroplex completed a Greyhound cash transaction while ticket sales climbed. Based on the success of the pilot program, the companies decided to roll it out nationally.
“7-Eleven has made a strong commitment to delivering valuable services to consumers, and clearly our Dallas/Fort Worth-area customers responded positively to the option of purchasing Greyhound tickets through our stores,” said Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven senior vice president of merchandising, marketing and logistics. “By working with Greyhound and PayNearMe, we can offer consumers a simple and innovative cash-payment solution for their traveling needs.”