American Express’ contactless payment system is set to go nationwide as its first national merchant partner comes aboard. The CVS retail pharmacy chain has inked a deal to make a full roll-out of “ExpressPay” to its entire fleet of more than 5,300 stores by mid-2005. CVS has already “ExpressPay”-enabled POS terminals in 485 stores in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas and Missouri. American Express is currently conducting “ExpressPay” pilots in Phoenix, New York and Singapore. The Phoenix pilot includes participating locations at CVS, Carls Jr., Frys (Kroger) supermarket, Blimpie Subs & Salads, ChevronTexaco, Dairy Queen, Cold Stone Creamery, Ritz Camera, Schlotzskys Deli locations and others. Consumers have the option of funding “ExpressPay” in two ways: either as a direct link for payment to an American Express card or as a prepaid product linked to any major credit, charge or debit card. AmEx developed “ExpressPay” in conjunction with Texas Instruments RFid Systems in 2003.