New innovation allows you to ‘pay by car’ to fast-track refuelling

TimesLive, 17 June 2021.

Fuel management and payment solutions specialists Payment24 have launched “biometrics for the vehicle” which instantly identifies any vehicle enrolled in the system as it drives into the forecourt, and then authorises refuelling and automates payment.

According to Payment24, the new module in their solutions suite is designed to allow petrol companies and organisations operating their own fuelling home bases to improve service and efficiency and reduce the risk of fraud.

Payment24 CEOs Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel said FastLane adds another layer of security to Payment24’s portfolio of more than 20 fuel and fleet management solutions.

They said it offers service station owners, fleet managers and individual consumers greater efficiency and a better refuelling experience with the added advantage that drivers and petrol attendants do not have to touch cards or keypads to make payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are advancing to a stage in which the vehicle becomes the payment mechanism, taking away the time and effort traditionally needed to refuel a vehicle. Using advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, we have made ‘paying by car’ a lot faster and more secure than using something like a fleet card. It’s the gateway to a world of cashless transactions, real-time visibility and satisfied customers. Payment24 FastLane is a way to distinguish yourself, giving customers peace of mind and building loyalty,” said Daniel.

The system uses cameras and artificial intelligence to detect a vehicle’s registration number, make, model, colour and type as it drives into the refuelling station. This data is sent to the Payment24 cloud, and if the vehicle is registered in the system, refuelling could be pre-authorised or a push notification can be sent to the FastLane companion app for driver verification and authorisation.

“The pump will release the fuel allocation and payment will be deducted automatically, with a receipt sent via the app. As a business-to-consumer solution, the registered driver will authorise 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.”

Built for conditions across Africa, the smart FastLane solution is said to be light on energy requirements and can run offline.

“You don’t need constant connectivity to approve transactions, which is perfect for mines with limited connectivity and in rural fuel stations across Africa,” said Rahil.

Rahil said FastLane offers a number of benefits.

“For fuel stations, the benefits include more sophisticated, faster service and a better customer experience. By fast-tracking authorisation and payment, they can move vehicles off the forecourt much faster and accommodate more customers. Our smart technology also supports analysis. Fuel station management can use the data for assessing factors like traffic patterns, dwell time, repeat visits and customer behaviour to help improve logistics and operations.”

The mobile and cloud-based strategy and hardware agnostic approach allows the company to address key challenges facing petroleum companies and fleet managers in regions with limited infrastructure and countries with developing economies.

Rahil said the rising cost of fuel has seen fuel fraud overtake vehicle maintenance as the main reason fleet managers are using technology to monitor their vehicles and fuel consumption.

“From a fleet manager perspective, one of the main challenges is to prevent fraud when it comes to fuel payments. If you consider the fact that large vehicles can take up to 1,000 litres of diesel at a time, poorly managed refuelling could cost businesses a significant amount of money so advanced fraud prevention solutions are crucial.”

 

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