Winmark Corporation & Secure Payment Systems Sign National Gift Card Processing Agreement
(San Diego, CA) Secure Payment Systems (SPS), one of the nation.s leading check and gift card services processors and the only U.S. company that provides a truly integrated check conversion and gift card program is pleased to announce that Winmark Corporation, the Minneapolis-based franchisor of .Play It Again Sports®. and .Plato.s Closet®., has signed an exclusive agreement for the issuance and processing of stored value gift cards accepted at all participating stores nationwide. SPS is responsible for electronically moving funds between participating franchises as cardholders may purchase cards at one franchise store and use them at other participating franchise locations. What makes this partnership unique is that the risk management systems of SPS are being used to underwrite the liability associated with unfunded gift cards resulting from franchise closings. In this way, unlike other franchise programs that are not underwritten, every participating store and card holder can rest assured that a valid card being presented will be honored and funded at all times.
Winmark Business Solutions General Manager, Mark Hooley, said, "We see stored-value gift cards as an important service that our franchisees provide to customers. We are pleased to align ourselves with an organization that has core competencies such as SPS. Working with SPS. focus on customer service and flexibility is what attracted us to offer their feature rich gift card program to our franchisees."
SPS President Lin Fellerman remarked, "We are pleased with the relationship and our association with such strong brands as Play It Again Sports® and Plato.s Closet®. With over 250 stores nationwide participating we have created a broad-based avenue for customers to take advantage of the national stored value phenomenon. Moreover, Winmark has played an active role in creating the market acceptance and backing necessary for the franchises to grab hold of this program in such a short period of time. By virtue of converting to plastic and actively promoting the offering through countertop displays, we expect that the franchisees will significantly increase gift certificate sales throughout the year".
About Secure Payment Systems, Inc
Secure Payment Systems, Inc. (SPS) (www.securepaymentsystems.com) was founded over 6 years ago by Linden (Lin) Fellerman, former 20 year employee and 10 year President of the Telecredit / Equifax Check Services subsidiaries. With over 25 years of entrepreneurial achievement in transaction processing and risk management systems, Lin fosters a hands-on management philosophy resulting in what may arguably be the lowest merchant attrition rate in the industry. He attributes this success, and a 40% annual growth rate, to unprecedented customer service levels that begin and end with a philosophy that empowers sales agents and employees while rewarding and encouraging unusual attention to detail.
About Winmark Corporation
Winmark Corporation (www.winmarkcorporation.com) develops franchises, provides business services and operates value-oriented retail concepts for stores that buy, sell, trade and consign used and new merchandise. At December 27, 2003, the Company had 812 stores in operation and an additional 24 franchises awarded but not open. Of the stores in operation, there were 449 Play It Again Sports®, 212 Once Upon A Child®, 107 Plato.s Closet® and 44 Music Go Round® stores.