TECHNOLOGY

App-free mobile fuel payment race gains entrant

BY Dan Berthiaume

Drivers who want to tap and pay for fuel at the pump without downloading an app have a new option.

Sionic Mobile, a provider of cloud-based connected commerce services, is integrating its ULink digital payment service with Gilbarco Veeder-Root’s Passport POS solution at select fuel dispensers.

This integration enables mobile payment at all fuel dispensers equipped with a Passport POS system. Consumers will receive a message on their mobile device upon arriving at participating gas stations, tap the message, and select a pump to turn on. If the consumer is not enrolled in the fuel retailer’s loyalty program, they can join with a single tap. No plastic cards, key fobs, or mobile apps are required.

ULink leverages digital wallets and payment card security and payment processing through CyberSource, a Visa company, to submit card payment authorizations to fuel retailers.

“We are thrilled to be working with Gilbarco Veeder-Root to bring zero-friction mobile pay at the pump to gas stations large and small,” said Ronald Herman, CEO and founder of Sionic Mobile. “Consumers can turn on the pump with a tap or two on their mobile device without having to download and use yet another app.”

Enabling consumers to perform mobile transactions at the fuel pump without needing an app may be a growth niche of m-commerce. Startup PayByCar recently introduced mobile fuel payments at select Alltown convenience stores across New England. Drivers who are signed up with the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system can register online for PayByCar and make digital fuel purchases at participating gas stations via their E-ZPass transponder.

Purchases through PayByCar do not go a consumer’s toll account, but are charged directly to a payment method they choose, such as credit or debit card or e-wallet. Upon entering the station, PayByCar recognizes a customer’s transponder and sends a text to their smartphone. The customer replies with the pump number and PayByCar automatically turns that pump on, registers the transaction, charges their card and sends an email receipt with retail offers for their visit.

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