UK forecourt and convenience segment receive payment shake-up

While Australia waits for Apple Pay, UK consumers started with the service in mid-July. This has led to initiatives to make payments easier and a reliance on cash dropping even further.

Only a week after Apple Pay started in numerous convenience stores and filling stations in the UK, Shell and PayPal rolled out their own mobile payment service, Fill Up & Go. Drivers will have to download the Shell Motorist app, connect it to their PayPal account and scan a large QR code at the petrol pumps.

Users of the Fill Up & Go service are able to spend as little as £5 ($10.7) and up to £100 ($215) in fuel payments per time. Shell pumps will only dispense fuel after the specified amount has been paid for through the QR code scan. Once fuel has been supplied, the pump will stop automatically and the driver receive a confirmation through the Shell app and a receipt.

Apple said the Apple Pay service would be available at 250,000 locations. Motorists can now also pay for fuel at BP stations through the Apple Pay app, which allows consumers to pay for items using their iPhones. The new payment system allows for up to £20 ($43) of goods to be purchased without the need to use a debit card or enter a PIN. Most retailers that already accept contactless payments via credit and debit cards will be able to support the new payment system. Convenience retailers and services that have confirmed their support include Co-Op, SPAR, BP and the post office, among others.

Apple Pay allows users of an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or Watch to enter their card details into Apple’s ‘Passbook’ app and present their device contactless card terminals. It also has additional security measures that ensure card details stored on the Apple device are never passed to the retailer and that, instead, a token and encryption key ensures the payee debits the payment only once. Payments are also secured and verified by the user with Apple’s fingerprint Touch ID system.

Visa, MasterCard and American Express have signed up to use Apple Pay.

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