On a vast trade-show floor and assembly hall that played host to 1,300 distributors and retailers, Chevron Corp. demonstrated how customers will no longer have to leave their cars to initiate pay at the pump during its 2018 Retail Convention.
Through a payment deal with digital commerce giant PayPal, San Jose, Calif., the major oil company has developed a mobile payment option that customers can trigger with their cellphones to find a station, select fuel, prompt payment and turn on the nozzle.
Chevron representatives on the show floor demonstrated (see video below) the customer experience with a mock pump and automobile, with demonstrators standing before the fuel pumps with their cellphones and a mobile app. The process involved a geolocation component tied to the phone and the Chevron app. Customers would acknowledge the location, select a payment option, identify the pump number and then begin fueling.
Mark Budreski, director of business development for PayPal, said the partnership with Chevron gave the 250 million global users and 70 million U.S. users of the online payment service access to mobile payment for fuel at Chevron stores. “We’re offering a value proposition,” Budreski said. “We’re driving speed, efficiency and convenience to the consumer.”
Within the Chevron app, a PayPal option will come up for payment, allowing for a quicker registration process, Budreski said. Within the car, a tethered cable linking the phone to the car’s display would allow customers to go through the same steps using the touchscreen display in their cars.
The design and development phase between Chevron and car maker Honda took two years, according to John Moon, managing director of strategic partnerships for Honda R&D Innovations Inc., Mountain View, Calif. As Chevron pilots the program in California in the next year, Moon said the program will evolve quickly. “We’ll now be able to test and develop fairly rapidly to understand what people want and find useful,” Moon said.