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Edmonton drivers can pay for gas from their phone with new Hughes mobile app
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton
Published Tuesday, March 12, 2013 5:10PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 12, 2013 6:29PM MDT
There’s a new way to pay for gas in Edmonton and it's done from the comfort of your car.
Hughes Petroleum has launched a mobile smartphone app that allows drivers to pay for gas without leaving their vehicle.
The app is called Hughes Mobile Pay, and is available free for iPhone and Android devices.
John Cherwick, general manager of Hughes Petroleum, says the mobile fuel app is a first of its kind in Canada and addresses the issue of convenience and climate.
“We have a good feeling this is a great service that’s very suitable for our climate,” Cherwick said.
“When you pull up to the pump, you use your phone, you enter your information shown on the pump, the pump number code, what you want to buy, and then you can leave your vehicle and start pumping so you don’t have to stand outside by the pump you can pre-do it while you’re in the vehicle which is absolutely perfect."
Driver Tereza Sampululu says the app makes filling up easier and says she likes the idea of paying from her vehicle.
“If you have kids, it makes it easier, you don’t have to run inside and leave them in the car,” Sampululu said.
“We have cold weather here so having to stand here and press numbers on the pad, it takes up a lot of time.”
'The technology itself is ready for prime time.'
Internet security expert Michael Legary says companies have been trying to cash in on different types of mobile payment for years and that fight is heating up.
Legary says mobile payment will soon become widespread in Canada, and consumers should get ready to see a lot more mobile wallet options later this year.
“The technology itself is ready for prime time. Our regular devices now have the ability to use that technology,” Legary said.
“The challenge we have in this early adoption is will the financial institutions, will the vendors, protect us as consumers adequately?”
Legary warns security varies and consumers must ask questions before downloading any app.
“It’s definitely a situation of buyer beware. The biggest concern as a consumer you need to worry about is, are you financially liable if someone steals your financial information and uses it for a transaction,” he said.
“Often the vendor will talk about how great technical security is in place, as a consumer, what you need to be worried about is who is on the hook if something goes wrong. You’ll need to follow I from a contractual perspective to see what your costs truly will be.”
'No different from when you are just using your credit card'
Eric Wong, the software developer for Hughes Mobile Pay says no personal information is stored in the device, rather it’s put in a data centre.
Wong says if someone does break into your account and use your information for purchases, the credit card you’ve linked will cover any theft.
“From a consumer perspective, it really is no different from when you are just using your credit card,” Wong, with AJB Software, said.
“You find a transaction that is not yours, you contact VISA or MasterCard, whatever card you have, say ‘that’s not my transaction’ and they’ll go through the whole charge back process with the merchant to see whether it’s a real transaction or not.”
Wong says the app is about convenience, protecting users from the elements and allowing anyone who might be nervous to pull out the credit card – to pay inside their car with the doors locked.
“My wife at night when she goes pump the gas, it will be better if she’s inside the car more often than being outside. If you have a kid in the car, it’s more convenient for the consumer for sure,” Wong said.
AJB Software said they are working to expand its mobile payment app to the hospitality industry, but would not speak to specific examples.
Hughes Mobile Pay can only currently be used at the company’s Parsons Road location, however the goal is to expand to other stations in a few months.
With files from Laura Lowe