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Platform Driven Payments Can Drive Improved Profitability for Fuel and Convenience Store Merchants

Platform Driven Payments Can Fuel Improved Profitability

Those of us who drive often don’t think too much about refueling our cars unless or until our tanks are nearing empty. And as long as the price is acceptable and the transaction efficient, a quick, convenient fill up is all we need.

However, for fuel and convenience store merchants, low margins on fuel combined with price-driven customer behavior creates real challenges for realizing profitability. Fuel station operators are looking to drive loyalty and increase sales of higher margin items in-store to help boost revenues. They need to compete on more than just price to entice customers to visit them for more than just fuel.

In our latest insight paper “How to Improve and Deliver on the Convenience Promise,” we explore how payment platforms can help fuel and convenience merchants drive up revenues by powering new customer experiences.

The payments process – and the technology behind it – can play an important part in delivering the customer experiences that fuel merchants need to provide. 2020 has seen the rapid growth of digital payments due to COVID-19, and the need to provide safe, secure, touch-free payment options for customers. The fuel sector is no exception, although it is perhaps lagging more digitally-enabled sectors such as retail and entertainment, partly due to the unique challenges fuel merchants face around infrastructure and the cost to innovate.

Some of ACI’s fuel customers have started to bring forward innovations in response to pandemic conditions, adapting their approach to payments to make purchases easier and safer for customers, while building superior customer service.

Across the fuel and convenience sector, we’re seeing IoT, mobile payments, alternative payment methods (APMs) and curbside delivery services being trialed by major fuel merchants as part of the natural progression towards more digitally driven fuel stop experiences.

These are the types of experiences that the combination of payments and mobile technologies can enable – and they are the experiences that consumers increasingly demand. They will also undoubtedly assist fuel merchants in creating new points of differentiation to aid loyalty and boost sales.

But, the road to innovation is never easy, and fuel merchants face a unique set of challenges when implementing new solutions and services. In our insight paper, we look at how a more holistic, platform-driven approach to payments can help meet and beat these challenges.

Alongside analysis from ACI’s own specialists, we’ve included insights from our fuel merchant customers, as well as commentary from industry partners and independent experts. A handy quick reference guide for fuel merchants also helps assess whether they are positioned to cost-effectively deliver the right payments experience, boost innovation and drive up sales.

View the recording of the PaymentsJournal Webinar How Fuel Merchants Can Use Payment Platforms to Drive Innovation and Profits for further insights from Raymond Pucci of Mercator Advisory Group, and Benny Tadele, ACI’s vice president of Merchant Payments.