Alimentation Couche-Tard announced that it has introduced Pay by Plate in Sweden and plans to expand it across its Circle K network.
This announcement makes Circle K the first fuel retailer to introduce this new and innovative technology across a full national network.
Pay by Plate is a payment technology that will enable Circle K customers to pay for fuel using sign recognition and a mobile app, offering a completely frictionless customer experience. It marks a key step on Circle K’s journey towards enhancing its forecourt offering and ensuring it meets the future needs of customers.
Pay by Plate, which has been piloted successfully in select Circle K stores in Norway, officially launches in Sweden on April 22. Based on customer adaption to this new and easy fueling experience, the plan is to roll out across wider parts of the Circle K network in the coming years.
The service is easy to use with no card or PIN needed for each transaction. Customers simply drive onto the forecourt, fill up with fuel and, through number plate recognition, pay for the fuel on the Circle K Easy Fuel app.
The technology behind Pay by Plate aligns with established number plate recognition technology frequently deployed in the operation of road tolls and parking garages/carparks across Europe and will be familiar to many European motorists.
“At Circle K, we know the forecourt of today is not the forecourt of tomorrow and we are committed to evolving the forecourt experience for our customers through innovation,” said Deb Hall Lefevre, Chief Information Officer, Circle K. “The need for change and a move towards a more frictionless forecourt experience is driven by the clear changes we see in consumer behaviour. As market leaders, we feel it is our responsibility to continue pushing forward the development of the forecourt and convenience retail space and ensure we are adapting today to meet the future needs of our customers.”
“We are really excited to launch our new Pay by Plate technology in Sweden,” added Hans-Olav Høidahl, Executive Vice President Operations Europe, Circle K. “At Circle K, we pride ourselves on understanding our customers, and we know they are becoming increasingly focused on ease, speed, consistency, and quality of service. The expansion of Pay by Plate will allow us to meet this demand, further simplify and enhance the customer experience as we differentiate our forecourt offering.”
The forecourt at Circle K is also evolving in line with broader global imperatives as the world comes together in a concerted effort to tackle climate change in a meaningful way. Circle K has a pivotal role to play in managing the transition from fossil fuel to electrification and sustainable fuel alternatives and takes pride in leading the transition to seamless solutions for its customers. Increased sustainability is integratal to our mission of making our customers’ lives a little easier every day.
“Our vision for our Circle K forecourt offering is based on delivering the very best customer experience, the best product range to match the current and future energy needs of our customers,” Hans-Olav Høidahl said.
Canada-based Couche-Tard operates in 26 countries and territories, with more than 14,200 stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is the largest independent convenience store operator in terms of the number of company-operated stores in the U.S. and is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong. Approximately 135,000 people are employed throughout its network.