New innovation aims to prevent SA drivers from accelerating without paying for their gasoline

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Johannesburg – An internationally renowned tech development company may have found the perfect solution to an aging problem plaguing gas stations across the country.

Payment24 in Cape Town has launched a revolutionary innovation that will ensure that South African drivers will no longer be able to accelerate without paying for their gasoline.

The tech company, which deals with fleet fuel management solutions, mobile refueling solutions and vehicle tracking, telematics and geofencing solutions, recently launched its latest innovation, FastLane.

Fastlane uses biometrics to identify vehicles as they enter the forecourt, then authorizes refueling and automates payment.

The solution is designed to enable oil companies and organizations operating their own refueling bases to improve service and efficiency, and reduce the risk of fraud.

The FastLane system uses cameras and artificial intelligence to detect the registration number, make, model, color and type of a vehicle as it drives to the gas station.

The data is sent to the Payment24 cloud, and if the vehicle is registered on the system, refueling can be pre-authorized or a push notification can be sent to the FastLane companion app for driver verification and authorization.

The pump will release the fuel allowance and the payment will be deducted automatically, with a receipt sent through the app.

As a business-to-customer solution, the registered driver will authorize refueling and payment, but the system also allows fleet owners and industrial service station owners to control fuel allocations and payment, to reduce risk. of theft and fraud.

Payment24 CEOs Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel say FastLane enables a fast, convenient and contactless payment method to pay for fuel, using the vehicle as a payment mechanism.

“We are moving towards a stage where the vehicle becomes the payment mechanism, taking away the time and effort that were traditionally required to refuel a vehicle,” explains Daniel.

“FastLane provides a fast, convenient and contactless payment method for paying for fuel using the vehicle as a payment mechanism.

“Our FastLane technology uses computer vision to identify a vehicle, then uses the unique characteristics of the vehicle to activate the fuel pump and pay for fuel at a gas station. “

FastLane works by pre-authorizing the fuel transaction as soon as the vehicle is identified. | Werner Beukes / SAPA

Nolan says the technology will also help eliminate the problem of gasoline theft in the country, in which drivers accelerate without paying for their gasoline.

“FastLane works by pre-authorizing the fuel transaction as soon as the vehicle is identified,” says Nolan.

“The fuel pump is then preset for the maximum amount of fuel allowed for the vehicle in question. This means that funds are reserved in real time before a single drop of fuel has been dispensed. The owner of the gas station is thus assured that the fuel will be paid for.

Although Payment24 has yet to approach gas stations, they are confident that all gas stations across the country will soon start using its latest innovation.

“Initially we are targeting commercial bases and fuel depots, but recently we have seen a lot of interest from truck stops and urban sites in South Africa, especially given Covid-19, which has driven the need to implement contactless technologies like FastLane. to the mainstream.

“We expect most gas stations across the country to use FastLane, especially with our next version of FastLane which will use existing hardware available on the forecourt. This will break down the barrier to entry that provides FastLane critical mass for mainstream adoption for B2C (business to consumer) and not just B2B (business to business).

Although Payment24 has yet to approach gas stations, they are confident that all gas stations across the country will soon start using its latest innovation. | Photo by Sizwe Ndingane.

Describing how Fastlane will use the vehicles as a payment mechanism, Rahil says: “The vehicle is registered with Payment24 using a web portal or mobile app. As part of the registration process, a funding mechanism will be selected (for example, a credit card or prepaid e-wallet).

“When the vehicle is detected by the FastLane camera at the gas station, Payment24 uses artificial intelligence to recognize the vehicle registration number, vehicle model, vehicle make and other vehicle characteristics that constitute a unique digital vehicle identity – similar to a fingerprint. .

“Payment24 then uses this unique vehicle identity to verify whether the vehicle is authorized for refueling and whether sufficient funds are available.

“If the vehicle can be refueled, the fuel pump is preset and activated for the allowable amount. After the fuel pump nozzle is replaced, Payment24 receives the actual transaction amount for settlement and sends electronic receipts to the driver or fleet owner.

Rahil says the company has worked long and hard to develop FastLane.

“We have been working on Payment24 FastLane for some time. Previously, the costs of special cameras and related infrastructure were prohibitive and presented a barrier to entry.

“Over the past two years, falling equipment costs, increasing internet speeds and the need for contactless / contactless payments have changed and made it a viable solution for mass market adoption. . “

He says owners of gas stations around the country will find the technology easy to use.

“Built for conditions across Africa, the smart FastLane solution is light on energy needs and can work offline. You don’t need constant connectivity to approve transactions, which is perfect for mines with limited connectivity and at rural gas stations across Africa.

“For gas stations, the benefits include more sophisticated and faster service and a better customer experience.

“By speeding up authorization and payment, they can move vehicles from the forecourt much faster and accommodate more customers. Our smart technology also supports analytics – gas station management can use the data to assess factors such as traffic patterns, downtime, repeat visits, and customer behavior to help improve logistics and operations.

He adds, however, that developing the technology was a challenge.

“This is extremely difficult, given that current solutions designed around license plate recognition are limited, as simply relying on license plate recognition creates opportunities for fraud.

“By introducing additional layers of real-time security like Payment24, we have introduced a robust and unique solution. “

Payment24 CEOs Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel say FastLane enables a fast, convenient and contactless payment method to pay for fuel, using the vehicle as a payment mechanism. Photo: Phill Magakoe

Although the technology is relatively new, FastLane has been implemented in some fuel depots and truck stops across the country.

“We have already made some successful implementations and our customers are seeing the benefits,” says Rahil.

“We are currently considering moving all of our base customers to FastLane and making it our primary offering for home depots and bases, with our next big focus being truck stops and urban sites. “

Payment24 operates in seven African countries, with a strong network of partners in Ghana, Namibia, Botswana and Nigeria, as well as the United Arab Emirates, and a presence in Europe and the United States.

The Saturday Star

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