Any industry that pretends to be immune from the innovative influence of mobile payments should take a lesson from what one gas station and convenience store chain is doing to maximize sales.
In an interview with Bloomberg Business, David Banks, chief information officer at Cumberland Farms, explained how his company’s mobile app that launched in 2013 has struck it rich with consumers. Through a combination of discount offers and streamlined payment processes, Banks said that the app has directly led to approximately $400 million in sales.
“We are selling significantly more gas because of it,” Banks said. “Customers have become more loyal, and we’ve picked up more customers.”
Cumberland Farms’ mobile app rewards customers with $.10 off each gallon of gas they pump and a free drink from the brand’s convenience stores with every 30 gallons purchased. Also, because drivers can pay at the pump with direct transfers from their bank accounts, Cumberland Farms skips out on costly credit card transaction fees.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, though, and Cumberland Farms’ success with mobile hasn’t gone unnoticed by its competitors. On Tuesday (Oct. 6), Visa and Chevron announced they were teaming up to help customers pay at the pump faster with NFC-enabled devices.
"We are continually looking for ways to improve the customer experience at our stations and further expand our offering of mobile payment solutions at the pump,” Glenn Johnson, general manager of U.S. product marketing, sales and services at Chevron, said in a statement. “This new program with Visa further solidifies our commitment to delivering high-quality products and services in a more secure and convenient environment."
With more developments in mobile payments at the pump, though, comes increased activity from less scrupulous users. If gas stations and credit card companies are committed to making mobile payments for fueling up work, their security measures must be as robust as their consumer-facing services.