It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a market research survey to understand that 2020 will be a watershed year for the future of retail. The ongoing pandemic has disrupted many aspects of consumers’ work and personal lives — some temporarily, some permanently. This is reshaping consumer behaviors and attitudes toward merchants of all stripes, including fuel retailers.

It does, however, take a market research survey to understand how their attitudes and behaviors have changed, and what that means for retailers in the future — including where consumers choose to purchase fuel, and how they pay. To that end, TNS commissioned a KANTAR survey* of US adults to learn consumer attitudes toward and experiences with various pay-at-the-pump opportunities.

The resulting report, Exploring the Influence of EMV, Coronavirus and Secure Commerce Options on Consumer Pay-at-the-Pump Adoptionreveals consumers now prioritize security and convenience when they pay for fuel.

In fact, the majority of respondents — 65% — said they prefer to buy their fuel at facilities that have an EMV chip reader or are EMV compliant, and 39% actively seek out pay-at-the-pump facilities that are EMV compliant. This shows consumers are aware of something many retailers may have thought shoppers didn’t care much about. With the April 2021 liability shift deadline for EMV compliance soon approaching, this is a clear call to action for established support for Chip card payments.

Consumers are also looking for retailers to give them more options for pay-at-the-pump impulse purchases, like the ability to order snacks and drinks and pay for in-store purchases while fueling at the forecourt. This will require many retailers to upgrade automated fuel dispensers (AFDs) to support these new commerce options and boost the customer experience — helping to safeguard retailers against a still-uncertain future.

The lengthy report details a number of other useful insights for retailers, all of which will be covered and explored in a free Dec. 10 webinar TNS is hosting in partnership with Verifone. Attendees can expect to learn:

  • Current pay-at-the-pump adoption levels in 2020, compared against a similar survey by TNS from 2019
  • How consumer adoption of pay-at-the-pump facilities has been impacted by the pandemic
  • The revenue potential of offering secure commerce options at the pump and standalone kiosks in the forecourt
  • The extent to which consumers are actively seeking facilities with EMV chip readers
  • The demographics of consumers who are adopting alternative payment methods, such as mobile apps and QR codes

The webinar will discuss the report’s findings in detail in a conversation between myself, Reginald McLaughlin, Regional Service Manager of Verifone; and Tim Sloane, Vice President Payment Innovation of Mercator Advisory Group.

Register for the webinar to gain access to the insights you’ll need to plan for the coming year and beyond.

Dan Lyman is Head of Payments Market for North America. In his role he identifies and drives all sales and business activity within his region and contributes to global strategic decisions alongside his European and Asian counterparts, and the wider TNS corporate leadership team.

*KANTAR commissioned a survey on behalf of Transaction Network Services. The survey interviewed 1,056 US adults and was conducted by online self-completion interviews between October 22nd – 26th 2020 by KANTAR. The survey is designed to be nationally representative of adults interviewed and uses a quota sample based on age interlocked within gender and a regional quota. Post fieldwork correctional weighting within age, gender and region has been used to ensure the representativeness of the survey.