The largest oil and gas company in the world has just deployed a new feature that makes full use of Apple Pay, as well as a credit, debit, or checking account stored on its Speedpass+ mobile app. Indeed, ExxonMobil has joined the list of corporations (albeit still limited) taking advantage of mobile payment systems, which empower consumers to pay for products or services using their mobile devices. As for Apple’s own contactless mode of payment, Apple Pay is now rolling out in more than 6,000 Exxon or Mobil branded gas stations across 46 states in America. By the middle of 2016, the service should be deployed an additional 2,000 stores, and will be made available in almost all of the company’s 10,000 stations by the end of this year.
Mobile payment systems have actually been existing for a while, but it has only been the last few years or so when they truly grew in popularity. Big credit goes to Apple, as well as its rivals Google and Samsung, in introducing new forms of the technology. Even though consumers are still generally hesitant to make use of mobile payment systems, usage is growing, and with more global brands like ExxonMobil joining in on the program, the number of adopters can only increase.
In the case of ExxonMobil, instead of upgrading its existing payment terminals in its gas stations across the United States, the company instead chose to focus on taking full advantage of mobile software on smartphones. Through near field communications (NFC) technology, Apple Pay lets users wave their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s devices at a payment terminal to pay for stuff. ExxonMobil takes it a step further by having its mobile app detect the iPhone’s location, and even allow consumers to buy something before they disembark from their vehicle.
This is made possible because the Speedpass+ mobile app utilizes global positioning system (GPS) to track down the consumer’s location and ascertain which gas station is being visited. The consumer chooses the pump number and verifies the sales via his iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner. As for locations where GPS may not function optimally, consumers can scan a QR code, or a customized symbol they pick up with their handset’s camera, at the pump or search in the Speedpass+ mobile app for their specific coordinates. Consumers must start fueling within 45 seconds though, or else the mobile app will time out and they would have to start over again. Consumers will get to receive a paper receipt from the pump and will be able to keep tabs on their past purchases via ExxonMobil’s mobile app.
ExxonMobil may be the first gas company to actually widely deploy a mobile payment system, although others have already explored the idea. As a matter of fact, back in October of last year, it was reported that Chevron was collaborating with Visa in bringing contactless modes of payment to gas pumps located in the state of California. The Chevron-Visa partnership would have allowed consumers to facilitate payment using Apple Pay, Google’s Android Pay, or Samsung Pay at over 20 gas stations around the city of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley area.
Although the Speedpass+ mobile app is available on Android, it does not yet have support for Android Pay or Samsung Pay.
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