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Payment Behavior and Technologies in European Service Station Retail

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Posted / Last update: 24-03-2011

An assessment of the fuel purchasing behavior and popularity of different payment methods of motorists in nine key European fuel retail markets followed and analysis of the new payment technologies and their suitability for European forecourts.

Price $3450

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Introduction

Changing payment behaviors, the emergence of new technologies and the need for service station retailers to enhance site efficiency creates opportunities for payment technologies in the channel.

Payment Behavior and Technologies in European Service Station Retail outlines the volume of fuel sales by different payment methods and explores which new technologies are suitable for forecourts.

Features and benefits

  • Identify investment priorities for new technologies by uncovering the proportion of fuel that is purchased using different types of payment.
  • Target your cards and payment marketing campaigns effectively by understanding how private and commercial motorists pay for their fuel.
  • Identify potential partners for pay at the pump and closed cash handling systems through an introduction to the key equipment manufacturers.
  • Inform your service station payment strategy by accessing an independent assessment of each of the major new payment technologies.
  • Assess the activities of retail competitors by accessing case studies of fuel retailers that have already introduced new payment technology.

Your key questions answered

  • How do private and commercial motorists pay for their fuel in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK?

  • What is the average volume of fuel purchased by private motorists per transaction and does it differ depending on the type of payment used?

  • What proportion of total service station fuel sales are made using cash, credit card, debit card, fuel card and other methods such as vouchers?

  • What are the respective strengths of pay at the pump, contactless options (card/mobile/fob), biometric payment and cash handling?

  • Have any fuel retailers already introduced contactless technology or closed cash handling and who are they?

OVERVIEW   Summary

 

KEY FINDINGS AND ACTION POINTS   Key findings      Cash is the most popular method of fuel payment for private motorists      Private debit cards account for around one fifth of fuel volume purchases in Europe      Private credit cards are the third most popular payment method among private motorists      Private fuel cards account for a small proportion of fuel purchases      Private motorists using fuel cards and credit cards spend more per transaction than those using cash   Action points      Consider installing pay at the pump facilities if the aim is to improve fuel volume throughput      Consider contactless payment technology once transaction limits have been relaxed      Link the implementation of new payment technology with a loyalty scheme      Implement closed cash handling at high-throughput service stations      Consider a B2C fuel card due to the high average transaction spend

 

MOTORIST FUEL PAYMENT BEHAVIOR   Europe      Around two-thirds of fuel purchased in Europe is by private motorists      Motorists are increasingly favoring cards when purchasing fuel at the service station      The average volume of fuel purchased in Europe per transaction is 37 liters      Credit card fuel purchases tend to be larger than debit card transactions      Fuel purchases made using cash tend to be smaller than other payment methods      Cash is heavily used for fuel purchases in Germany, Italy, and Poland      Credit cards are the preferred payment type for French motorists      Germany accounts for the largest volume of debit card fuel purchases in Europe      Personal fuel cards are popular in Sweden but have a limited penetration elsewhere      Checks, vouchers, and other payment types are the least commonly used payment method in Europe   Belgium      The proportion of private fuel purchases in Belgium is below the European average      Debit cards are the most popular payment type for private fuel purchases in Belgium      The average transaction volume in Belgium is higher than the European average   France      Around two thirds of fuel purchased at service stations in France is by private motorists      Credit cards are the most popular payment method for private motorists in France      The average volume purchased per transaction is slightly higher in France than the European average   Germany      The proportion of fuel purchased by private motorists in Germany is above the European average      Cash is the most popular payment method for purchasing fuel in Germany      On average, private German motorists purchase just over 40 liters of fuel each time they fill up   Italy      Italy has the largest proportion of sales represented by private customers      The majority of fuel purchases in Italy are made using cash      The average volume of fuel purchased per transaction in Italy is similar to the European average   The Netherlands      Commercial fuel purchases outweigh private fuel purchases in the Netherlands      Over a third of fuel sold through the service station network in the Netherlands is paid for using commercial fuel cards      Private motorists tend to use debit cards when purchasing fuel in the Netherlands      Private motorists in the Netherlands have a high average fill up   Poland      The proportion of fuel purchased by private motorists in Poland is smaller than the European average      Cash is the preferred means of payment at the pump for private motorists in Poland      Private motorists in Poland have a low average fill up   Spain      Just over half of all fuel in Spain is purchased by private motorists      Credit card is the preferred means of payment at the pump for private motorists in Spain   Sweden      A comparatively small proportion of fuel is purchased by private motorists in Sweden      Sweden has the largest personal fuel card market in Europe      The typical fill up by Swedish motorists is similar to the European average   The UK      Private motorists account for a high proportion of fuel purchases in the UK      Debit cards are the most popular payment method among private motorists in the UK      The average fill up by motorists in the UK is below the European average

 

OTHER STRATEGIC MOTIVATIONS   New payment methods will help retailers accommodate for the decline in sites      Network consolidation creates the need to get more cars through each site      The number of customers per service station is on the increase      The growth in unmanned service stations could alter motorists' choice of payment for fuel purchases

 

INTRODUCING SERVICE STATION PAYMENT TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS   Pay at the pump is increasingly popular among fuel retailers across Europe      Fuel retailers can opt for pay at the pump technology at a payment island, or on each fuel dispenser      Increased speed when refueling is the primary benefit for retailers and motorists alike      Concerns that pay at the pump would impact shop sales seem to have evaporated   Contactless card payments are the next area of innovation for payment at the pumps      Contactless card payment is increasingly popular within general European retail      Consumers benefit from the speed and convenience of contactless card transactions      Current contactless card issuer transaction limits pose a problem for fuel retail      It is likely that contactless technology will eventually be adopted at the pump   Contactless mobile phone payments have the greatest potential, but fire safety is a problem      Contactless mobile phone payments have yet to be extensively rolled out in Europe      The potential for contactless mobile phone payments is greater than contactless cards      The fire risk of mobile phone payments remains an issue for fuel retailers   Contactless fob payments are popular in the US but are yet to catch on in Europe

OVERVIEW   SummaryKEY FINDINGS AND ACTION POINTS   Key findings      Cash is the most popular method of fuel payment for private motorists      Private debit cards account for around one fifth of fuel volume purchases in Europe      Private credit cards are the third most popular payment method among private motorists      Private fuel cards account for a small proportion of fuel purchases      Private motorists using fuel cards and credit cards spend more per transaction than those using cash   Action points      Consider installing pay at the pump facilities if the aim is to improve fuel volume throughput      Consider contactless payment technology once transaction limits have been relaxed      Link the implementation of new payment technology with a loyalty scheme      Implement closed cash handling at high-throughput service stations      Consider a B2C fuel card due to the high average transaction spendMOTORIST FUEL PAYMENT BEHAVIOR   Europe      Around two-thirds of fuel purchased in Europe is by private motorists      Motorists are increasingly favoring cards when purchasing fuel at the service station      The average volume of fuel purchased in Europe per transaction is 37 liters      Credit card fuel purchases tend to be larger than debit card transactions      Fuel purchases made using cash tend to be smaller than other payment methods      Cash is heavily used for fuel purchases in Germany, Italy, and Poland      Credit cards are the preferred payment type for French motorists      Germany accounts for the largest volume of debit card fuel purchases in Europe      Personal fuel cards are popular in Sweden but have a limited penetration elsewhere      Checks, vouchers, and other payment types are the least commonly used payment method in Europe   Belgium      The proportion of private fuel purchases in Belgium is below the European average      Debit cards are the most popular payment type for private fuel purchases in Belgium      The average transaction volume in Belgium is higher than the European average   France      Around two thirds of fuel purchased at service stations in France is by private motorists      Credit cards are the most popular payment method for private motorists in France      The average volume purchased per transaction is slightly higher in France than the European average   Germany      The proportion of fuel purchased by private motorists in Germany is above the European average      Cash is the most popular payment method for purchasing fuel in Germany      On average, private German motorists purchase just over 40 liters of fuel each time they fill up   Italy      Italy has the largest proportion of sales represented by private customers      The majority of fuel purchases in Italy are made using cash      The average volume of fuel purchased per transaction in Italy is similar to the European average   The Netherlands      Commercial fuel purchases outweigh private fuel purchases in the Netherlands      Over a third of fuel sold through the service station network in the Netherlands is paid for using commercial fuel cards      Private motorists tend to use debit cards when purchasing fuel in the Netherlands      Private motorists in the Netherlands have a high average fill up   Poland      The proportion of fuel purchased by private motorists in Poland is smaller than the European average      Cash is the preferred means of payment at the pump for private motorists in Poland      Private motorists in Poland have a low average fill up   Spain      Just over half of all fuel in Spain is purchased by private motorists      Credit card is the preferred means of payment at the pump for private motorists in Spain   Sweden      A comparatively small proportion of fuel is purchased by private motorists in Sweden      Sweden has the largest personal fuel card market in Europe      The typical fill up by Swedish motorists is similar to the European average   The UK      Private motorists account for a high proportion of fuel purchases in the UK      Debit cards are the most popular payment method among private motorists in the UK      The average fill up by motorists in the UK is below the European averageOTHER STRATEGIC MOTIVATIONS   New payment methods will help retailers accommodate for the decline in sites      Network consolidation creates the need to get more cars through each site      The number of customers per service station is on the increase      The growth in unmanned service stations could alter motorists' choice of payment for fuel purchasesINTRODUCING SERVICE STATION PAYMENT TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS   Pay at the pump is increasingly popular among fuel retailers across Europe      Fuel retailers can opt for pay at the pump technology at a payment island, or on each fuel dispenser      Increased speed when refueling is the primary benefit for retailers and motorists alike      Concerns that pay at the pump would impact shop sales seem to have evaporated   Contactless card payments are the next area of innovation for payment at the pumps      Contactless card payment is increasingly popular within general European retail      Consumers benefit from the speed and convenience of contactless card transactions      Current contactless card issuer transaction limits pose a problem for fuel retail      It is likely that contactless technology will eventually be adopted at the pump   Contactless mobile phone payments have the greatest potential, but fire safety is a problem      Contactless mobile phone payments have yet to be extensively rolled out in Europe      The potential for contactless mobile phone payments is greater than contactless cards      The fire risk of mobile phone payments remains an issue for fuel retailers   Contactless fob payments are popular in the US but are yet to catch on in Europe     

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