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Apple Pay arrives at Exxon and Mobil gas stations

March 8, 2016

If you hate fumbling with your wallet at the gas pump, ExxonMobil aims to have your back. The world’s largest gas and oil company is rolling out a new feature which will allow customers in the United States to pay for their fuel using Apple Pay, according to CNet, but it won’t work quite the way folks accustomed to the contactless payment method are used to.

Now, you can pay for gas using Apple Pay on your iPhone.

Now, you can pay for gas using Apple Pay on your iPhone.

Credit: CNet

Instead of waving your Apple Watch or iPhone 6 at the pump, you’ll carry out your transaction using ExxonMobil’s Speedpass+ app. The software determines which gas station you are at using either geolocation or by scanning a QR code and then you choose which pump you are at, taking advantage of Apple Pay’s capability of being used from within an app.

This app will now let you pay for your gas

Exxon Mobil Speedpass+
Exxon Mobil Speedpass+
Exxon Mobil Corporation

Apple Pay went live today, March 8, at more than 6,000 Exxon and Mobil-branded gas stations across 46 U.S. states. ExxonMobil plans to add the feature to about 2,000 more stores by mid-year, with a roll-out to nearly all of the company’s 10,000 locations by the end of 2016.

Anything that involves the pump from a hardware point of view takes years to deploy and is extremely expensive

- Bryant Russell, via CNet

It’s interesting to see the gas and oil company using Apple Pay’s capability to accept payments from within an app instead of using the Near-Field Communication chip within the iPhone 6. Bryant Russell, ExxonMobil Americas program manager for mobile payment and loyalty, attributed this to the time and expense required to change hardware at the pump.

ExxonMobil is the first gas company to roll out a broad-based mobile payment system. Chevron has dabbled in the capability at more than 20 stations around San Francisco and Silicon Valley, but that capability never expanded beyond those few stores.

My only concern with how the feature works at ExxonMobil-owned stations is that you have to start fueling within about 45 seconds, or else the app times out and you have to start over again. That doesn’t sound like enough time for some people to get the pump running, but I’m sure it also helps prevent people from having others steal their pump once it’s been paid for.