We enabled touchless gas pumps for a global network in under 3 weeks with our low-code middleware, Interplay®. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to be more cognizant of what they are touching due to the potential spread of germs. Businesses had to quickly adapt: restaurants had to rely on take-out, and grocery stores enforced mask usage. Though many chose to avoid unnecessary risks, some errands, like pumping gas, were still essential.
When stopping to get gas, there is a fair amount of risk related to touch. A person must touch a screen to activate it, enter their credit card, key in their PIN, press a button to select their type of gas by pressing a button, and finally use the gas pump by holding the pump handle. Now, as people are more aware of the spread of germs and viruses, everyone knows that all this touching is less than ideal.
A global convenience store/gas network began asking thoughtful questions: What are ways to minimize the number of hand touches during a fuel pumping experience? What if we could handle the money transaction via the customer’s mobile phone before a customer even gets out of their car?
Many solutions emerged. First, the gas station needs to know the car's identity from the license plate. The system can then connect to the mobile phone of that car’s owner to authorize the transaction, all while sitting in the car. Using the mobile phone, the transaction can be verified, along with an opportunity to browse and choose curbside snacks from the gas station. With this system, over half of the possible risk from touching the pump parts is mitigated. BONUS: this also mitigates the risk of scamming credit card scanners.
How to Build a Touchless Gas Pump
That sounds complex, and it is. Moreover, we have to package all of that into a simple plug-and-play server so gas station managers can deploy this with minimal IT support (read: no AI knowledge required.) We’re also helping our client file patents around this revolutionary award-winning system.
Indeed, we got it done in about 3 weeks, from conception to actual production roll-out. This system is now in place at hundreds of convenience stores, on its way to being rolled out to thousands of more stores in the coming months.
If anything, the description here is a very simplified version of the actual data and logic flow. Despite this complexity, we estimated we could do it in less than a month and at a very affordable price. Why were we so confident? Because we have Interplay.
Global Convenience Store Chain
Improve Customer Experience
2500 gas stations
Increasing loyalty, repeat purchases