Evening Standard launches new payment method

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The Evening Standard will be sold at a discount price to Eros card users, though the exact amount has not been disclosed.

A trial run of the Eros card will begin today. Commuters at London's Waterloo station will receive free cards with credit already on them. As an extra incentive for use, the cards will carry an offer of five free iTunes, redeemable when consumers go online to re-fill their cards.

Card users can fill the Eros with a credit or debit card at an online site. The site requires that users register, providing the Evening Standard with valuable customer information such as name and address. The Standard lacks this information for many of its readers because most of its circulation comes from newsstand, not subscription, sales.

The cards also will allow the Standard to track how many people buy the paper each day and at particular times.

The Standard has an average daily circulation of 277,555 - down from the 317,511 it had last year. In 2006, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp launched a free daily, The London Paper, which directly competed with the Standard. The Standard retaliated with a 25 percent price hike, to 50p ($1 USD), and the launch of its own free paper, London Lite.

The Eros card will be available across zone 1 û London's city center - starting October 1.

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