Commentary

Chevron Bringing Apple Pay To The Pump

If you’re old enough (and I am), you can remember back when incorporating credit card readers into gas pumps was considered the height of convenience. Thank God you no longer needed to make the long journey all the way across the forecourt to pay the cashier! Why, it’s exhausting just thinking about it. How did we ever live that way?

Well, now we can shave another 15 to 30 seconds off the whole fueling transaction thanks to Chevron, which is working on incorporating Apple Pay into gas pumps at thousands of locations across the country. Although Chevron tweeted that the rollout should begin in “early 2015,” the company later walked that statement back -- but it’s clearly working on a pretty aggressive schedule, so we should be seeing mobile payments soon.

Chevron is already accepting Apple Pay for cashier transactions in a number of Chevron and Texaco convenience stores, with plans to roll out to over 3,000 locations in 2015.

Returning to the old system, paying with actual credit cards at the gas pump has actually become a bit cumbersome, often involving a series of interactions requiring you to enter information manually before you can get your gas (credit or debit? Zip code? Receipt?). That may not sound particularly onerous, but it can be a real pain if you’re trying to do it when, say, it’s 10 degrees below zero and your fingers are numb or encased in gloves. And as for more temperate areas of the country like southern California, well, we just think it’s a hassle, man. If Apple Pay can streamline the process that  could be a real competitive advantage for Chevron.

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That said, it probably won’t be long before other gas stations get in on the mobile payment act. Earlier this year Gilbarco Veeder-Root, the world’s largest manufacturer of gas pumps and point-of-sale systems, announced that it was joining forces with VeriFone to upgrade electronic payment systems in gas pumps in order to comply with new security rules for electronic payments and keep pace with consumers’ shifting payment habits, including a growing trend of payment by mobile devices.

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