Spire Payments Uses Bikes, Skates to Overcome Olympics' Hurdles

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Rollerblading may not be an Olympic sport, but it will play an important role for Spire Payments Ltd. as it serves London clients in the Olympic Traffic Exclusion Zone during the summer games.

Spire Payments intends to honor contracts and service agreements with its London customers by continuing payment terminal or PIN pad deliveries even when event security measures block vehicle traffic.

To this end, it has hired the delivery personnel of CitySprint. This fleet of bike riders, joggers and rollerbladers will deliver Spire's products where cars cannot go, the companies announced July 25.

In addition to being in retail stores, restaurants and hotels, Spire Payments terminals and self-serve kiosks are common at gas stations and car washes throughout London.

Businesses in London have been planning to deal with the traffic blocks for several months.

When Spire was considering its options for delivering products into the exclusion zone, CitySprint suggested joggers, bikes and rollerbladers, Dave Millener, UK managing director of Spire Payments, stated in a press release.

"Our terminals have an excellent reputation for being reliable, but we wanted to reassure our customers that in the event of failure during the Games, there will be minimal disruption," Millener added.

In his blog on the CitySprint website, CEO Patrick Gallagher noted the delivery company will also incorporate "courier assistants" to the van fleet. These assistants will be able to "walk packages to delivery destinations where the final leg of these journeys will be out of bounds for vehicular traffic," Gallagher wrote.

CitySprint has also invested in specialist route-mapping software that will provide couriers with daily traffic updates via GPS so they can select the most efficient routes and avoid traffic hotspots, Gallagher stated.

Millener says the Olympics, which draw an estimated 11 million visitors to London during July and August, create an environment where Spire Payments customers in the retail and hospitality sectors "hopefully will find themselves busier than ever."

As such, Spire views the Olympics as a time to demonstrate its commitment to customer service, Millener added.

Spire Payments, based in Wiltshire, United Kingdom and Madrid, Spain, previously operated as a unit of Hypercom Corp.

When VeriFone Systems Inc. acquired most of Hypercom's European properties last August, it brought most of Hypercom's distributors on board.

At that time, Spire Payments became an independent payments hardware vendor in the UK and Spain, behind the financial backing of private investment firm KleinPartners Capital Corp.

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