Shell to roll out mobile fuel payment

Phone payment

Few people enjoy visiting petrol stations, though the process could at least be about to get a lot quicker thanks to a new mobile payment option being introduced by Shell.

The Dutch oil giant has partnered with internet commerce specialists PayPal to develop an app-based payment method, which it claims will greatly speed up the process of filling up and will appeal to "busy parents who want the ease of remaining by their vehicle with their children". Though quite how they're going to actually get petrol into their cars without getting out of it remains to be seen.

Being rolled out across the majority of Shell's 1,000-strong UK forecourt network, the system allows for payment via the Shell Motorist App or the PayPal App on both Android and iOS devices.

Users will simply be able to drive into a forecourt and select the pump they intend to use on the app. Once the transaction has been authenticated, the driver can fill up and just drive away, with a receipt being automatically sent to the phone.

Currently in the late trial stages, the system is expected to be fully live later this year.

Michael Hominick, Retail Marketing Manager at Shell UK, said: "We're committed to providing a fast, safe and secure service. We've listened to our customers and know they will benefit from this innovation. They will now have the flexibility and convenience of paying without having to leave their car. Those who want to go in store and pay or purchase other items will still be able to, with the benefit of reduced queues.

"This is an exciting development for Shell. We believe that by working with a trusted brand like PayPal this new service will positively impact our service stations by delivering the security, choice and convenience UK motorists are after."

Despite motorists traditionally being advised to avoid using mobile phones while on the forecourt, Shell claims the technology is completely safe to use, citing European research into fuel combustion caused by phone signals.

"We do not allow customers to use mobile phones while on the forecourt, though purely for safety concerns arising from being distracted. Drivers are free to use their phones provided they are within a stationary vehicle," a spokesperson said.