Payment24, a fuel payment solutions provider based in Cape Town, is rolling out a new touchless tech that could forever change the way we pay for gasoline.
In announcing the launch of its FastLane solution, which the South African firm likened to “biometrics for your vehicle,” the company said the integrated payment system improves speed, data security and efficiency via a seamless transaction that also builds customer loyalty.
“We are advancing to a stage in which the vehicle becomes the payment mechanism,” Payment24 Co-CEO Nolan Daniel said in a locally published media report, noting the time and effort savings that the innovation brings to the routine refueling process.
“Using advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, we have made ‘paying by car’ a lot faster and more secure than using something like a fleet [credit] card. It’s the gateway to a world of cashless transactions, real-time visibility and satisfied customers,” he added.
Drive In, Fill Up, Leave
While Payment24 did not provide details on where its newest payment system is being offered, the 7-year old privately held firm said it does business in seven countries and names Shell, BP and BMW among some of the companies that use its suite of 20 fueling and fleet management software solutions.
In a system U.S. drivers could compare to the automated payment of tolls through EZ-Pass, the FastLane system also “uses cameras and artificial intelligence to detect a vehicle’s registration number, make, model, color and type as it drives into a refuelling station” the company said, before seamlessly pre-authorizing a fuel purchase.
“The pump will release the fuel allocation and payment will be deducted automatically, with a receipt sent via the app,” Nolan said. “As a business-to-consumer solution, the registered driver will authorize refuelling and payment, but the system also enables fuel allocations and payment to be controlled by fleet owners and industrial fuelling station owners to speed up processes and reduce the risk of theft and fraud,” he said.
The speed and efficiency of this new refueling alternative may appeal to consumers, but from a business standpoint there are also benefits via data analytics that are aimed at commercial customers that purchase — and sell — fuel on a mass scale.
For example, Nolan said the FastLane system also provides vehicle fleet managers with smart technology analysis and improved fraud prevention. At the same time, the FastLane system brings gas station owner/operators the ability to assess factors like “traffic patterns, dwell time, repeat visits and customer behavior to help improve logistics and operations,” Nolan said, pointing to the time and cost involved in putting 250 gallons of increasingly expensive fuel into a single large truck.