Sheetz, Wright Express launch pilot to field-test mobile payments

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Sheetz convenience stores and Wright Express Corp. have announced the launch of a multi-city trial of a technology that enables drivers to make fuel purchases at Sheetz locations using their mobile phones.

According to the companies, drivers will be able to download over-the-air a fleet card into their specially-enabled NFC (Near Field Communication) mobile phones; they then will be able to purchase fuel by merely tapping their phones at the contactless payment readers installed in more than 350 participating Sheetz locations throughout Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.

The pilot, which begins this month, is a first for both Sheetz and Wright Express, who are collaborating with ViVOtech in testing the mobile technology to gauge its benefits and the impact on the fleet fueling industry. Drivers participating in the pilot are part of Sheetz Business Advantage fleet program.

“There are indications that the wireless phone will be the electronic wallet of the future,” says Russ Lamer, manager of emerging technologies for South Portland, Maine-based Wright Express. “The goal of this field test is to enable us to better understand NFC mobile payment technology and position Wright Express to rapidly achieve leadership in this exciting new market as it develops.”

Lamer says Sheetz has had the contactless readers at its stores for several years now and have been accepting contactless chip cards, using RFID technology for payments at the pump and in-store. ViVOtech provided the end-to-end NFC mobile solution for the trial, including a mobile wallet, over-the-air fleet card provisioning infrastructure software, promotion management software and contactless/NFC terminals installed at Sheetz locations.