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Opportunities in Mobile Payments at the Pump

While not without challenges, new pay at the pump app could be a game changer.
November 14, 2014

​NEW YORK – Mobile commerce is breathing new life into retail – even at gas pumps and convenience stores. For certain consumers, that means purchasing everyday items like fuel or a soda or a newspaper is about to get a lot quicker and a lot more convenient. In a recent digital discussion, PYMNTS.com sat down with Bob Wesley, chief strategy officer at Aurus Inc., and Jon Regan, director of marketing at Alliance Energy LLC, to find out how they are partnering to create a mobile payments app to boost gas and c-store sales, enhance the consumer experience, and offer security and loyalty programs in ways the industry has never before experienced.

The two companies are partnering to create the Alltown mobile payments solution, driven by a desire to offer customers a modern, seamless payment platform that is smartphone-based, while also offering a loyalty component to push app-only discounts. Though it is still in beta testing, it is the first of its kind in the world to allow any major credit card to be uploaded into a mobile wallet used at the gas pump.

The challenge, as Regan described to Pymnts.com, is getting the 70% of customers that fuel up and do not enter the convenience stores to enter them. Regan indicated that while fueling up, most people are on or near their phones, so by offering them app-only discounts and exclusive in-store deals, they hope to see more traffic in the c-stores. Once Alliance knows the customer, and what and how they’re spending, they can begin to deliver targeted one-to-one communications with that customer.

The process to implement this innovative app — one of only two solutions currently offered to pay for gas via smartphone — was not seamless, with challenges including legacy systems, compliance standards and security concerns. 

The brightest opportunities for the app, according to both Aurus and Alliance Energy, is in fleet cards, helping users to enhance their brand and collect valuable information from their employees.

For more on the partnership, read the Pymnts.com interview here.