Philips Semiconductors and Shell Nederland have introduced Easypay, a contactless payment system for gasoline stations.

Easypay, which operates in a manner similar to Mobil Speedpass in the United States, is being introduced at 100 Shell stations in the Netherlands and is likely to be expanded later into all 650, the companies said.

The program, built on Philips' MIFARE technology and said to be the first large-scale implementation of this kind in Europe, includes a loyalty-point system.

Later this year it will also permit purchases in convenience stores using the Easypay key fob.

Royal Philips Electronics executive vice president Roel Pieper said the effort can become part of a smart-card-based payment system with multiple applications and contact/contactless options.

The technology supports "application standards developed by major banking institutes," he said.

"It will open up amazing opportunities for different providers to jointly offer their services on one card or key ring."

Pat O'Driscoll, president of Shell Retail International, said, "The launch of Easypay marks the start of a Shell-Philips partnership with global potential."

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