NZ Co. Leads Technology To Fight Petrol Runaways
28 April 2005
NZ company at forefront of technology to fight petrol runaways
A New Zealand company is urging petrol stations to consider other payment options for their customers as they look at ways to prevent petrol station runaways.
Provenco chief executive officer, David Ritchie, says pay at the pump technology offers the best solution for both service stations and customers, although few New Zealand companies have yet adopted the system.
"The solutions currently being discussed to combat petrol theft all relate to compulsory prepayment, which require customers to park their car, go into the store to pay, then return to the car to pump the petrol," says Mr Ritchie
Provenco's pay at the pump system consists of a terminal mounted on the petrol pump, where customers swipe their eftpos card, before entering their desired fuel amount.
"Pay at the pump offers a positive alternative to prepay, overcoming the associated customer inconvenience of having to go into the store and line up at the cashier. At the same time it eliminates the drive off problem as payment occurs before the petrol is pumped," says Mr Ritchie.
Provenco's pay at the pump system also has a display screen which offers marketing and promotion opportunities to help generate instore traffic.
"Pay at the pump gives consumers choice - the payment is taken care of quickly, and customers can then enter the store for further purchases if they choose to," says Mr Ritchie.
Operationally, there is also the possibility to switch the terminals from attended to unattended mode, enabling service stations to continue to operate after hours when the site is unmanned.
Mr Ritchie says a number of international markets including the United States, Malaysia, Hong Kong and parts of Europe now operate largely with pay at the pump technology.
"Provenco has been at the forefront of this technology and has fulfilled large international contracts for these terminals, including more than 5,000 to Malaysia over the last year. As yet, New Zealand has been slow to take it up, but fuel companies may be encouraged at a time when theft is costing the industry $1 million a year."