In a New Zealand first, today BP launched an impressive new mobile payment technology that is set to revolutionise the way Kiwi drivers re-fuel.
BP General Manager of Fuels and Marketing Debi Boffa says the technology is called ‘BPMe’ and it gives you the power to pay for your fuel from inside your car, removing the need to enter the store or even reach for your wallet.
“We’ve harnessed the power of mobile to give our customers time back in their busy lives.
“When you arrive at one of our sites, BPMe knows where you are so all you have to do is confirm your pump and refuel – it’s almost too easy,” she says.
Available on both iOS and Android, Boffa says BPMe was created in response to rapid consumer uptake of mobile payment technology in New Zealand.
The age-old process of getting out of your car to fuel, entering the store, waiting in line and paying at the counter has now completely changed with the launch of BPMe.
Well-known Kiwi developers, PaperKite, were responsible for the build.
PaperKite CEO Nic Gibbens says he enjoyed the chance to work with BP in redefining fuel retailing to turn “a grudge purchase into an experience that is ridiculously easy”.
“We’ve created an App that interfaces with BP’s comprehensive technology stack, but it still feels light and intuitive to use,” he says.
“The speed that we can check the status of the site, authorise a pump and deliver fuel to a customer is incredible.
“End-to-end response times are typically sub-second, which means it almost feels too fast, giving the customer the greatest possible experience,” he says.
Personalisation features mean that if you always fill up with $40 worth of BP Ultimate 98 or, if you are a BP Fuelcard business customer who only purchases diesel fuel, BPMe will know.
BPMe is a gateway into a raft of highly complex systems, but for the customer, they are just a couple of taps away from the quickest and smoothest refuelling process available on the NZ market.
The App might seem simple on the surface, but Gibbens assures us that this is not the case as the requests need to go from the App through to software and systems supplied by multiple vendors.
While some of the systems were existing platforms that had to be retrofitted, others had to be purposebuilt from scratch.
“The biggest challenge was the integration points between all the different systems which was vital to ensure end-to-end transaction integrity.
“From existing systems that send batch files for reconciliation to real-time APIs, there was a breadth of software architecture that needed to seamlessly fit together,” Gibbens says.
BPMe caters for a huge range of scenarios and states of interaction, and while it may feel like there are only a few screens and features, when you dig into the information architecture, you can see that there are over 100 designed screens and states that have been considered in the build.
“Definitely the biggest cool-factor is being able to use a mobile phone to activate the pump from your car.
“We think that this has the potential to change customers’ refuelling habits, in the same way that Uber has changed the taxi industry,” Gibbens says.
Boffa says BP chose to build the system from the ground-up for a number of reasons, but a key decision factor was the need to gain a better understanding of customer behaviour to better meet customers’ needs.
“BPMe will help us to personalise content and tailor deals and information to individual requirements and interests, rather than trying to make one offer fit all,” she says.
BPMe has already been put through its paces, having been active at a number of BP stores for a few months.
Boffa maintains that the best thing about BPMe is the convenience of using it and she assures us that while BP is offering the App to its business customers at selected sites first, the retail customer version “with all the bells and whistles will be available really soon”.
But what will the next version of BPMe look like? Boffa says she can’t give too much away just yet.
“What we can tell you right now is that BPMe will be accepting credit and debit card payments very soon and, if you have an AA Smartfuel loyalty card, you will be able to check your balance, redeem and accrue right there on the spot…without even getting out of your car,” she says.
“The options are endless for this new technology and we are excited to bring this brand new digital offer to the New Zealand market first.”
If you’re not a BP Fuelcard customer, you can still download BPMe and you’ll be push-notified when the personal payment features are ready.
BPMe will be available from the App Store and Google Play Store on Monday 25 July. For more detail, visit www.BPMe.co.nz.
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