Payment cards dominate EU forecourt retail payments

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 27, 2006

In the European retail fuel forecourt market, payment cards account for almost 50% of all transactions made, and their growing importance is reflected by particularly high brand acceptance, according to a new Datamonitor report available from Research and Markets.

The report, entitled Retail Payment Mechanisms on the Forecourt, says that oil and equipment manufacturers are increasingly keen to understand the penetration of different forms of payment in the forecourt retailing market, the prevalence of different payment technologies, and the core brands used by consumers.

The report reviews nine European forecourt retailing markets (UK, France, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic) and assesses payment type acceptance, characteristics of payment terminals, and consumer purchasing behaviour (broken down by payment type).

Report highlights
Among the report's key findings:

  • Cards are used for almost 50% of all transactions made on the European forecourt, and their importance is reflected in high brand acceptance and the relative absence of 'minimum payment thresholds'.
  • The number, age and functionality of card terminals varies greatly across Europe's forecourts, with France and Spain having the highest average number of terminals per site and the UK having the newest terminals.
  • Italy and Spain have a large quantity of card terminals per site relative to the level of card usage and the penetration of auxiliary services in each market.
  • The Czech Republic and Poland significantly lag their western European counterparts in card transactions on the forecourt.
  • Debit cards are the most commonly used cards with fuel and credit cards being second and third, respectively.
  • A greater proportion of transactions on the forecourt are made by card than at supermarkets or restaurants.
  • The average age of forecourt terminals across the nine markets assessed is 2.8 years.
  • Across forecourt terminals, EMV compliance is varied and implementation is complicated by national factors.
  • Terminal functionality is fragmented, with the emphasis being on card acceptance rather than integration into the wider financial system.
  • In selected markets there is scope for terminal numbers to increase the volume of traffic through the forecourt.
  • Poland has the highest vehicle per terminal ratio, indicating there is scope for the number of terminals to increase in this market. Belgium and France, however, promise fewer opportunities for expansion of terminal numbers.

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