Fuel management and payment solutions specialists Payment24 have launched a new module in their comprehensive solutions suite, bringing contactless, cardless and secure fuel payments to market.
Payment24’s latest innovation, FastLane, is described as ‘biometrics for the vehicle’ which instantly identifies any vehicle enrolled in the system as it drives into the forecourt, and then authorises refuelling and automates payment. The solution is designed to allow petroleum companies and organisations operating their own fuelling homebases to improve service and efficiency, and reduce the risk of fraud.
The FastLane system uses cameras and artificial intelligence to detect a vehicle’s registration number, make, model, colour and type as it drives into the refuelling station. This data is sent to the Payment24 cloud, and if the vehicle is registered in the system, refuelling could be pre-authorised or a push notification can be sent to the FastLane companion app for driver verification and authorisation. The pump will release the fuel allocation and payment will be deducted automatically, with a receipt sent via the app. As a B2C solution, the registered driver will authorise refuelling and payment, but the system also enables fuel allocations and payment to be controlled by fleet owners and industrial fuelling station owners to speed up processes and reduce the risk of theft and fraud.
Payment24 CEOs Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel report that FastLane adds yet another layer of security to Payment24’s portfolio of over 20 fuel and fleet management solutions. It offers service station owners, fleet managers and even individual consumers greater efficiency and a better refuelling experience, with the added advantage that drivers and petrol attendants do not have to touch cards or keypads in order to make payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Says Daniel: “We are advancing to a stage in which the vehicle becomes the payment mechanism, taking away the time and effort that was traditionally needed to refuel a vehicle. Using advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, we have made ‘paying by car’ a lot faster and more secure than using something like a fleet card. It’s the gateway to a world of cashless transactions, real-time visibility, and satisfied customers. Payment24 FastLane is a way to distinguish yourself, giving customers peace of mind and building loyalty with them.”
Built for conditions across Africa, the smart FastLane solution is very light on energy requirements and can run offline. Rahil notes: “You don’t need constant connectivity to approve transactions, which is perfect for mines with limited connectivity, and in rural fuel stations across Africa.”
Rahil says FastLane offers a number of benefits: “For fuel stations, the benefits include more sophisticated, faster service and a better customer experience. By fast tracking authorisation and payment, they can move vehicles off the forecourt much faster and accommodate more customers. Our smart technology also supports analysis – fuel station management can use the data for assessing factors like traffic patterns, dwell time, repeat visits and customer behaviour to help improve logistics and operations.”
Curbing fuel fraud across Africa
Payment24’s mobile and cloud based strategy and hardware agnostic approach is allowing the company to address key challenges facing petroleum companies and fleet managers in regions with limited infrastructure and countries with developing economies.
Payment24 operates in seven countries in Africa, with a strong partner network Ghana, Namibia, Botswana, Nigeria, and UAE, as well a footprint in Europe and the U.S. The company’s range of technologies are helping petroleum companies and fleet owners to effectively manage fleets and fuel, and curb rampant fuel theft and fraud, which have become a major challenge as fuel theft becomes more lucrative.
The rising cost of fuel has seen fuel fraud overtake vehicle maintenance as the main reason why fleet managers are using technology to monitor their vehicles and fuel consumption, says Rahil .“From a fleet manager perspective, one of the main challenges – if not the main challenge – is to prevent fraud when it comes to fuel payments,” he says. “If you consider the fact that large vehicles can take up to 1,000 litres of diesel at a time, poorly managed refuelling could cost businesses a significant amount of money, so advanced fraud prevention solutions are crucial,” Rahil says.