California has some of the most scenic driving routes in the entire country, and with a new partnership between Visa and Chevron, Cali drivers are going to be spending more time on the road and less time at the pump.
In a Tuesday (Oct. 6) press release, officials from Visa and Chevron announced that they are kicking off a new mobile payments program that will allow drivers to pay for their purchases at more than 20 Chevron stations around California with nothing other than an NFC-enabled device. By the companies’ estimates, 80 percent of Chevron customers already use credit or debit cards, which had Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa, bullish on this partnership’s future.
“Mobile payments are moving into the mainstream in the U.S. because, more and more, consumers see the value of using their personal devices to purchase everyday items like groceries and gas,” McCarthy said in the press release. “Chevron has always focused on giving their customers great experiences by offering convenient ways to pay and being committed to protecting against fraud. For this reason, they are who we want to help us broaden both the reach, and consumer understanding of the many mobile payment options in the market today.”
With so much potential for mobile payments growth at the pump, why wouldn’t Visa and Chevron launch a national plan instead of a California-specific one? Glenn Johnson, a marketing manager with Chevron, told CNET that system upgrades per gas station cost anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000. With that in mind, testing consumer response to mobile payments for gas purchases in one region seems prudent instead of financially committing to a technology the average consumer is still acclimating to.
“We’ll get some great learnings from this,” McCarthy told CNET. “Things take awhile to mature in the payments space, so I would say we’re in early innings.”
If things go well for Visa and Chevron, expect them to put the pedal to the metal for mobile payments.
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