PHILADELPHIA - As Phillies fever rose and fans scrambled for reminders of their dream team, one credit card venture was trying to hit a home fun of its own.

Baseball fans last week were able to purchase memorabilia at Philadelphia's Veteran's Stadium during the World Series thanks to a wireless point-of-sale credit card authorization solution offered by MasterCard International Inc. and RAM Mobile Data USA Limited Partnership.

The New York-based operations were catering to Phillies fans who didn't want to carry a lot of cash to the ballpark or wait on long lines to buy souvenirs from the team's first appearance in the World Series in a decade.

In Use for Two Years

Sharon Cline, vice president of marketing for MasterCard's automated POS program, said this type of joint POS option has been used for about two years.

Other sites have included Texas Stadium in Arlington, and the Red and White Ferry Fleet in San Francisco - places where it would be difficult or impossible to run a phone line.

"I really see it emerging any place where a merchant is not in a stable location," Ms. Cline said.

At the Phillies games, the merchants are stationed in specially constructed tents outside the Vet, as well as locations within the stadium, and will accept any major credit card for purchases.

Faster Authorizations

Sales locations require a POS terminal, a protocol converter, and a radio modem, which provides access to RAM's two-way wireless data service. Authorizations are bounced from the terminal through the radio modem to RAM and then on to MAPP.

The system provides draft capture of both debit and credit transactions.

Due to the wireless transmission, credit card authorizations can be received in six to eight seconds - three times faster than traditional telephone services, said RAM spokeswoman Virginia Marshalek. Because of its speed, she suggested that the system may be an alternative for credit card acceptance at fast food stores.

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