Introduces new virtual payment network solution, called “Steve” for retailers to more easily accept and process FleetCor/Comdata and WEX/EFS fleet fuel card transactions.
In a move that will shift the balance of control in the truck stop payment ecosystem, fuel industry start-up Gas Pos has teamed up with cloud communications platform Twilio to deliver a new method for retailers to accept and process FleetCor/Comdata and WEX/EFS fleet fuel card transactions.
The Gas Pos solution, dubbed “Steve,” after its first customer, is a virtual payment network that leverages Twilio’s global communications platform to perform point-of-sale transaction processing on existing payment networks at a fraction of the cost and with fewer restrictions while offering superior tracking and reporting capabilities.
A “Goliath” Problem…
The fuel industry has its fair share of oligopolies —when a large market is dominated by a very small number of sellers, limited product differentiation, stifling of innovation, and the ability for vendors to charge a locked-in clientele whatever they please. In 2018, Gas Pos set about tackling the unfair ways in which gas stations were being pinched between extortionately high technology and payment processing costs and the desires to provide a secure and easy way for their customers to pay for their goods and services.
Fuel retailers lose billions a year to the fees charged by fleet fuel card networks such as those provided by WEX’s EFS and FleetCor’s Comdata. From the perspective of a truck stop owner, the annual fees paid to these networks can equal the truck stop’s net profit for the year. Gas Pos CEO Joshua Smith said, “We hope to turn the industry on its head.”
Gas Pos projects that the average location will save over $40,000 a month. With 12,000 truck stops in the U.S., the aggregate savings could be billions per year.
Gas Pos realized that an alternative exists that would still allow drivers to use their fleet cards and have their transactions processed by the networks; thereby retaining the benefits for drivers and fleets while bypassing the costly, proprietary link between retailer and the payment servers.
The Steve virtual payment network leverages Twilio’s flexible network-based communication systems to route the payments to the servers.
“Truck stops are being walloped. We have customers that lose $20,000+ a month per location to these guys,” said Smith, “Our partnership with Twilio allows us to offer a solution at scale for a fraction of the cost of legacy systems.”
“We are inspired everyday by the innovative ways companies use Twilio’s cloud communications platform to build great experiences for their customers,” said Jesper Joergensen, general manager of voice and video at Twilio. “Gas Pos is a great example of this and we look forward to powering their newest virtual payment solution.”
From the trucker’s perspective, the change is entirely transparent. Paying for fuel remains a swipe-and-go process. Trucking companies still retain their payment system advantages. Moreover, retailers, at last, have an alternative to exorbitant costs and vendor lock-in.
“We see this as an opportunity to right a wrong and open up the network,” added Smith. “To provide innovation in a market that hasn’t seen much change. To make businesses more efficient and provide the market a chance to work better. I hope other networks with similar issues replicate our success with off-the-shelf tools and turn their market upside-down.”