Analysis: Car Torque: Jaguar launches cashless fuel fill-ups

Jaguar has unveiled a new app in the UK that allows drivers the opportunity to pay for their petrol from within their car.

Using the app interface, which appears in the touchscreen menu of the Jaguar, drivers can select the type of fuel they require and the dollar amount needed. They then simply fill up the car as normal, without having to head into the service station office to pay.

What’s more, once refuelled, the system can send a GST receipt directly to the driver’s accounting software from the vehicle.

Jaguar NZ general manager Steve Kenchington says the integrated app will introduce a new level of efficiency for an essential task.

“With this new technology will come a more streamlined fuel purchase process and greater convenience for the driver.

“Car owners will no longer have to queue to make payments, unbuckle young children from safety constraints, brave bad weather or even remember to bring their wallets inside with them as all payment details are securely stored in the app,” he says.

Mr Kenchington says the new technology is just a first in a series of cashless innovations from Jaguar Land Rover which, in overseas markets to begin with, will include parking and drive-through restaurant purchasing too.

Suitable for New Zealand?

Jaguar New Zealand is keen to see the cashless fuel buying technology adapted in this part of the world. The distributor may have little choice, as Jaguar Land Rover is looking to roll out the app across a broader range of models within its portfolio, including forthcoming Land Rover and Range Rover products as well as the Jaguar XE and F-Pace.

But, with the app designed in conjunction with the Shell Oil company in the UK, an oil distributor no longer operating in the New Zealand market – Jaguar Land Rover New Zealand might need to look for local integration through another chain.

Theoretically this shouldn’t be an issue though, a local spokesman told us, as the technology is designed to be ‘brand agnostic’; the system’s program structure sits underneath an oil chain’s branding overlay, with the transactional aspect of the system remaining with a third party service provider such as PayPal.

But there are other questions over the usability of the service in a New Zealand context. For example, several chains already feature “pay at pump” services, whereby the customer essentially performs the transaction for fuel through a card reader placed at the pump, meaning the opportunity not to have to leave their vehicle and walk inside to pay for fuel at the cash register is already an option.

Also, will Jaguar Land Rover find a willing partner for the technology when the modern oil chain makes so much of its profit from products other than fuel, such as coffee and confectionary? The app essentially ensures Jaguar Land Rover customers won’t make other discretionary spending decisions inside the store.

Regardless, Mr Kenchington says the technology will be introduced for New Zealand Jaguar drivers from 2018. It will be interesting to see which oil chain the distributor manages to partner with for the initiative.

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