Near field communication capabilities will soon give German drivers a new way to pay for gas.
Starting in 2014, the Shell stations operating in Germany will be introducing a new form of mobile payments that will allow smartphone users to make contactless purchases of their gas and other products.
The announcement was just made that this new service will be offered as a part of a partnership with Visa.
The mobile payments will become available at all of the 2,200 gas stations that Shell has throughout the European country. Any purchases of up to $35 (€35) will be possible with a simple tap of an NFC enabled mobile device against one of the reader terminals. The larger purchases will be made in the same way, except that a PIN will also need to be entered in order to complete the transaction.
The announcement said that the mobile payments will not only be for fuel, but other products, as well.
According to the head of retail business at Shell in Germany, Jörg Wienke, “Shell stations not only offer high quality fuel, but also products for daily use. In the near future, our customers will be able to pay with Visa contactless cards in a convenient, fast and easy way when buying petrol as well as coffee, drinks, snacks or magazines.” He went on to explain this benefit by saying that “Thereby, queues at the counter will be shorter and our service quality will further increase.”
The GM of Visa Europe in Germany, Ottmar Bloching, also spoke about this new mobile payments offering that will be occurring throughout the country at the Shell locations. Bloching stated that this launch will be a tremendous move forward for the use, adoption, and acceptance of smartphone based contactless transactions both using Visa and as a whole, in Germany.
Though there have been some concerns voiced regarding the risk of fires and explosions due to using smartphones near the gas pumps, Visa and Shell have been able to completely avoid this problem by installing the mobile payments terminals inside the gas stations and not at the pumps, themselves.