MAPCO, a convenience store chain and petroleum operator in the southwest portion of the United States, announced it has launched a mobile app to enable customers to pay for gas. The app rewards customers for use by giving app users five cents back on every gallon—“an incentive that could lead to a $100 savings over 12 months based on the current average $3.49-per-gallon nationwide price.”
MAPCO has explicitly referenced Starbucks in its inspiration for launching this initiative. Realizing that there were gains to be had from connecting loyalty, mobile and payments—a theme we recently explored in-depth in a report by the Emerging Technologies service—MAPCO has established a partnership with PayPal to execute this.
MAPCO wanted to bring credibility to the product from the start and decided to make PayPal the exclusive payment method within the app. “Really, there was no other consideration when it came with partnering with one of the best payment providers out there,” said Howard Curtis, MAPCO Director of Marketing and CRM in a Mobile Payments Today article. “Th
e company is not worried about alienating potential users with an exclusive PayPal option. “When we say PayPal to a non-PayPal customer, we might get a shoulder shrug,” Curtis said. “But by adding five cents to the deal, we’re hoping that overcomes the veto affect.”
This makes sense for both MAPCO and PayPal. PayPal gives MAPCO credibility. Few customers would think of storing their credit card information with a pure MAPCO app, even with the reward, because few people think consciously about where they are going to get their next refill. Many of those customers already have PayPal installed on their phones for uses other than everyday retail. Now the MAPCO app provides incentives for these customers to download the MAPCO app and trust PayPal to complete the transaction. PayPal can now capture a whole new set of physical world transactions it has thus far failed to break in to. Slowly but surely, the American consumer is finding greater value in mobile payments.
To read the full story, go to Mobile Payments Today.