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Mobile payments at the pump in the UK

February 10, 2015

PayPal is working hard to establish itself as a top mobile payment system. The company is in competition with Apple Pay to position itself as the preeminent global service. Recently, in the United Kingdom, PayPal and Shell partnered up in order to allow motorists to purchase gasoline without leaving their cars.

PayPal is working hard to establish itself as a top mobile payment system. The company is in competition with Apple Pay to position itself as the preeminent global service. Recently, in the United Kingdom, PayPal and Shell partnered up in order to allow motorists to purchase gasoline without leaving their cars.

Mobile payments at the gas station in Europe
Pocket-lint reported that PayPal and Shell are working together and will make it possible for U.K. drivers to pay for gas while they sit in their car. Shell will be the first fuel station in Europe to offer a mobile payment option at its pumps. The service will be launched in April of this year to Shell Driver’s Club members, then eventually, to the public.

Digital Trends noted that the recent effort by PayPal stems from competition with Apple Pay for market share in Europe. In a few months, mobile app payments will be enabled at 1,000 Shell stations across the U.K. Apple Pay has similar initiatives in the pipeline in the United States, and it will be interesting to see, over the long term, which company wins out at the pump around the world.

Paying with PayPal will have versatility
According to Pocket-lint, Shell customers will be able to choose between the Shell Motorist app and the PayPal app. Both apps are available for iOS and Android. Drivers at the pump can select which app they will use, indicate the pump number, and then fill up their tanks. The transaction will be automatically charged through PayPal and a receipt will be sent through the phone to the driver. There will be no need to reach for a wallet or visit the cashier.

Digital Trends mentioned that in the U.K., most gas stations have small convenience stores attached to them and paying with credit card at the pump is not a common feature. It is not unusual for drivers fueling their cars to have to wait in queues in order to pay for their gas. Accordingly, using an app will making purchasing gasoline easier and more convenient for drivers. It is important to mention that Apple Pay has not yet been launched in the U.K, but it is expected to be rolled out imminently. While Apple Pay is accepted at Chevron stations in the United States, paying at the pump has still not been enabled. In this regard, PayPal is outperforming its rival.

Ultimately, the U.K. has been quick to adopt mobile payments, and many retailers and restaurants around the country accept payment using a mobile device. In the case of Shell and PayPal, the benefits of the technology are clear. Given that U.K. motorists were previously unable to pay for gasoline at the pump, the introduction of mobile payments at the gas station will be attractive to consumers who do not want to wait in line or deal with cash and paper receipts. The service is especially attractive at gas stations where self-service is not the norm. In those situations, drivers will not even have to get out of their car.

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