Automation of customer service and communication processes at fueling and charging stations
The inCust platform helps you automate any interactions with customers at fuel or charging stations. This includes sales and provision of fuel and energy, issuance of fuel tickets, a loyalty program, communication with customers and omnichannel messaging.
Benefits for you: the platform lets drivers refuel and charge cars at stations with the dedicated mobile application or the chatbot. This makes it possible for you to sell fuel or energy to customers who can pay using credit or debit cards or use other forms of payment. Additionally, your corporate customers can refuel or recharge company’s vehicles and use corporate accounts as a form of payment, with consideration of limits. Fuel and energy tickets can be used to provide fuel and energy, paid for in advance.
Benefits for corporate customers:
- digital fuel cards that don’t require printing
- digital and paper fuel tickets
- coupons and gift certificates
- prepaid accounts for fuel and energy or goods
- mutual settlements and financial clearance with partners
- cross-selling and cross-marketing
Benefits for customers:
- refueling and charging with mobile application, without leaving the car
- buying fuel and energy “in advance” in a mobile application
- loyalty program by phone number
- coupons and gift certificates
- payment without a bank terminal
- Self-service for drivers:
- refueling / charging and payment by credit card via mobile application
- refueling / charging and payment by credit card via chatbot
- fuel and energy store in a mobile application (advance purchases)
- refueling / charging from the customer account
- replenishment of the cash customer account using a mobile application or chatbot
- integration of refueling / charging and loyalty programs
- issuance of digital coupons – own or issued by your partners
- opportunity to sell digital fuel tickets through partners
- promotion of additional goods and services
- For corporate customers:
- management of corporate customer accounts: prepaid or postpaid, fuel or, energy, cash, achievements
- the ability for corporate customers to provide access to their account to individual drivers without the need for printed or plastic cards
- optional setup of limits for each driver (daily, monthly)
- additional protection of access to the account with a PIN code
- optional odometer control when a driver refuels the car
- refueling / charging using the mobile application
- refueling / charging using the chatbot
- Fuel and charging stations where an attendant controls the pumps using a phone or a tablet. An ability to control the pump from a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or computer. A driver can refuel or charge the car just by phone number without a mobile application (using SMS to confirm their identity) using the QR code, displayed in the mobile application or the chatbot. Different payment methods are supported: credit and debit cards, customer accounts, cash or electronic money, payment by QR code or in a mobile application.
- Issuance, distribution, sale and processing of fuel tickets
- The ability to create a single digital fuel card between different fuel stations (possibility to organize the fuel operator)
- Refueling / charging at fuel stations of other chaint with mutual settlements
- The ability to install a tablet that works as a fuel terminal. One day launch.
- Price and discount control. Mutual settlements with partners.
- Easy integration using API
- Automatic payments: a driver refuels / charges the car at an external fuel or charging station with a discount using the fuel card, and that fuel station receives payment in real time.
- Creation of a single mobile application for several fuel or charging stations / chains with different owners. Each owner receives money from the customer directly to their account
- Creation of a general application for the sale of fuel coupons from several independent fueling / charging chains
- Other tools (coupons, prepaid cards, gift certificates, omnichannel communication with customers)
Methods of provision of fuel and energy
inCust support two main methods of provision of fuel and energy.
In both cases, the software module must be installed that interacts with a cash desk (if it’s necessary to use a cash desk, for example, to print a receipt). If this is not necessary, you can install a special controller directly at the fueling or charging station and it allows you to control the pump or charging point directly from the server, bypassing the cash desk.
1. A customer fuels or charges the vehicle by himself:
You have a traditional fuel station or the modern automated station, and you can let drivers buy and receive fuel or energy at the stations in different ways. In this case, you need a control system that could allow the driver to use tools such as a mobile application or chatbot. Through these channels, the driver will be able to make a request for the purchase of fuel and energy and pay using a credit or debit card or from a corporate account. Further, the inCust platform launches the process in the cloud and interacts with the mobile application on the one hand, and with the station on the other hand: in real time, the platform communicates with all the pumps or stands, monitors their status and allows provision of fuel or energy. Also, you can identify a customer without using physical or ID cards, simply by phone number.
Inside the platform, you can distribute access rights to accounts or issue various coupons and tickets. A mobile phone number becomes a universal fuel card. Fuel and charging stations get the mechanisms for selling and provision of fuel and energy, various complex mechanics of interactions between partners.
The process of self-refueling at fuel stations:
- Authorization. A driver enters the station and starts the mobile application. In the app, s/he sees the nearest fuel or charging stations (they can be selected on the map); the “Refuel” button appears in the app. When the driver clicks on this button, the software immediately uses geo-location to ensure that the driver is at the right station. If this is not so, a special notice is given, and the driver cannot receive fuel or energy. The second way: the driver can confirm that s/he is at the right station by scanning a special QR code, located at the station. This QR code can contain not only the station identifier, but also the pump/stand number or even the number of the nozzle or the charging cable. The system will find out, at which fuel station the driver is located, on which pump and which fuel is received (or what type of charger is connected).
- Product selection. After confirming the location or scanning the QR code, the driver starts the refueling or charging process. inCust supports two kinds of fuel and charging stations. The first kind is traditional, where one first chooses the pump and then chooses the product. The second kind is small automatic fuel and charging stations when both the pump/stand and the product are chosen at the same time (e.g. 1-diesel, 2-fuel, 3- natural gas and 4 – energy). After that, the system first offers some pre-configured values (e.g. refuel 5l, 10l, 15l, 20l or for $50, $100, $200). Also, the driver has the opportunity to enter custom volume or an amount in a special calculator.
- Choosing a payment method. Depending on the settings, the system determines whether it deals with a retail customer or a corporate driver. If this is a retail customer, then there is the opportunity to pay with a credit or debit card, or use a prepaid account. Data about bank cards will be safe: inCust doesn’t store them and instead uses services from global partners (at the moment they are MasterPass by MasterCard and Stripe). After entering card information, it becomes possible to refuel or charge the vehicle. In addition, the application ensures that the correct nozzle or charging cable is selected. Before starting the operation, the system reserves money on the customer’s card account to avoid the situation when there is not enough money after fueling or charging. After the fueling or charging is completed, the payment card or a prepaid account will be charged an exact amount.
- Loyalty program. The inCust platform contains a powerful module for setting the rules of the loyalty program of any level of complexity. Various rules for shipping fuel or energy can be easily created. For example, when a driver refuels more than 30 liters, we give a discount of 50 cents per liter, or, for certain categories of customers, the system credits 10% bonus points for all purchases of over 20 liters and so on.
- Online store for customers. A customer can use a special section of the application – the e-shop. There, s/he can replenish their prepaid account for the future, possibly with a small discount (for example, “replenish your account with more than $100 and we will credit $110”) or buy large volume of fuel with a discount (for example, “buy 500 liters of fuel with a discount and then just refuel with that fuel”). After this operation, the customer has the “customer account” (fuel, energy or money) and at the time of payment they can choose not a bank card, but this customer account.
- Corporate accounts for business. Inside the platform, one can set up business accounts. This can be a prepaid or credit account, fuel or energy account, or an account with achievements. Accounts can be nominated in real currency or use some kind of internal currency. A business gets the opportunity to grant access to its accounts to any employees who need it. To do this, it’s enough to indicate the employee’s phone number and specify additional information that would help to control refueling. These may be restrictions for fueling per month or per day for a given employee. Business can protect access to accounts with an additional PIN. In this case, after starting the application, a driver will have to enter the special PIN code. You can also request additional information, for example, require the driver to specify the odometer readings when he or she is refueling or charging the vehicle.
2. Refueling or charging using the Terminal app (with attendant’s help)
For whom it will be the best:
- Small fuel stations without a POS system. An attendant uses a mobile phone or tablet to run the Terminal app. Managers control the process through the control panel of a business from the office.
- For quickly launching digital fuel cards at existing fuel stations. An assistant works with the software on a tablet.
- To expand current offerings with a modern loyalty program, digital methods of payment and shipment of fuel. There is no need to change the already overloaded POS, instead you can use our software – the Terminal application, which interacts with the cash register.
Service process with the help of an attendant:
- Order acceptance. The driver approaches the attendant or the cashier. The attendant, working on a tablet or phone, scans a QR code or enters the customer’s phone number. Alternatively, the inCust software can be used at the checkout.
- Authorization. It’s necessary when the customer uses a corporate fuel card, or if it’s a customer, who participates in the loyalty program. The customer tells the phone number to the attendant (and indicates the PIN code, received using a communication channel), or shows a QR code or a plastic card.
- Product selection. The customer tells about the product and its quantity to the attendant.
- Choosing a payment method. The customer can pay with cash, credit or debit card, funds from a corporate or personal customer account, bonus points. After the payment, it becomes possible to refuel or charge the car; the assistant presses the “Refuel” button in the Terminal, which can be integrated with the fuel dispenser system. After that, payment is charged and, if a loyalty program is used, bonus points are credited to the customer’s bonus account.
Issuance, distribution, sale and redemption of fuel and energy tickets
Features of fuel and energy tickets:
- Pure digital, these tickets can be sent as a number in an SMS or other communication channels, displayed in a mobile app or printed on paper
- Tickets can be protected by additional technologies that require redemption of the ticket in order to see the number
- A digital ticket can be placed in the customer’s digital wallet in the cloud
- Ease of integration with partners and possibility of ticket distribution (e.g. sale of fuel tickets at the grocery store)
Easily implemented stages of use of fuel and energy tickets:
– Issuance (manual, according to the rules, in the store, in the mobile application, in the chatbot)
– Distribution (in SMS, in the chatbot, mobile app, in email, in paper form)
– Possibility to put a ticket in the customer’s cloud-based wallet
– Redemption (in the customer’s application, at the seller’s terminal, in the chatbot; free or paid redemption)
Three main types of tickets:
– Certificate. When the ticket is redeemed, liters, bonus points (regular or promotional), which the customer can spend, appear on the cloud-based digital account. This type of ticket replenishes a customer account, and inCust keeps the balance.
– Prepaid Certificate. A digital wallet, in which there can be an unlimited number of customer accounts, with personal spending rules and restrictions. Funds can be spent on certain goods or services with a variety of restrictions.
– Non-splittable. Redemption by an external accounting system. InCust uses a special type of ticket (we call it an external coupon).
The process of creating and using fuel and energy tickets:
- Issuance. We create a series of digital fuel and energy tickets in which we describe the main parameters related to the series: a unique number, the quantity of uses per customer, the time of issuance, etc.
- Sale. Fuel tickets can be distributed by two mechanisms. The first one is a certificate which, when redeemed, replenishes a customer account (for example, a certificate for 20 liters of fuel; upon redemption, the coupon will be redeemed, and 20 liters will be credited to the customer). The second – prepaid certificates, as an anonymous digital wallet, in which there may be certain amounts of fuel, or energy, or money.
- Distribution. After we have created a series of tickets, we can set up automatic distribution (for example, using our online store, in-app store, or chatbot). Or, we can issue these tickets according to certain rules (for example, we want to issue a certificate for 1 liter as a gift to the customer when s/he is buying coffee in the partner’s store). Another option: automatic issuance of tickets using the inCust API in any accounting system or through the inCust control panel.
- Redemption. If a customer uses the application or chatbot, s/he automatically sees all his digital fuel and energy tickets inside the wallet, and he can also add or buy a digital fuel ticket. When the customer is at the fuel station, he can use this ticket in a cash desk, in the customer’s application, in the chatbot or by API.
Other use cases
Beside selling fuel or energy to the customer by phone number, through a mobile application or chatbot, there is a mechanic for self-service at the fuel or charging station. In front of the cash desk, you can place special tablets with inCust Kiosk software, and then all these actions can be carried out directly at the station where the cashier is working. You can easily set up cross-selling of fuel or energy, or arrange the service of universal fuel cards. You can organize a complex scheme, in which there is a single mobile application serving several partners for the sale, distribution of fuel or energy at partner stations.
Additional tools for communication and customer acquisition:
- Gift certificates
- Sale of supplementary goods at the station and also via the e-shop in the app
- Collection of customer feedback and ratings
- The inCust Kiosk solution for expedited service of customers and customer self-service
What makes inCust unique?
1. Cloud-based fuel and energy control system
Typically, fuel stations implement complex mechanisms for selling and dispensing fuel inside the cash system. In such mechanisms, the cash desk or fuel terminals allow you to control, reserve fuel and energy, make payments, and control pumps. But the market changes and remote or automated execution of these tasks becomes a must. We are talking about such scenarios as refueling or charging a vehicle by use of the customer-controlled mobile application.
For this purpose, inCust has developed a unique product – a cloud-based system for control over provision of fuel and energy. With this cloud technology, we simultaneously control
- a) dispenser controllers, installed at fuel stations
- b) (using the integration module) cash desks that are at different fuel stations
The controller module orchestrates all processes, it is able to receive a task for managing provision of fuel and energy and coordinate such complex processes as
– authentication and authorization of the customer,
– the ability to receive a payment or lock (reserve) it on a bank card,
– notification of the customer about events (redemption, replenishment of the account)
2. Driver authorization system and access to accounts without plastic
In the modern world, it is very useful to dynamically provide a certain driver with access to specific accounts, tickets, and other functions. Using a plastic card or RFID for this becomes inefficient. inCust has a number of technologies that allow you to use a mobile phone number as a universal fuel card (a PIN code is sent via SMS or other communication channel to confirm your identity). Our solution also allows you to use a mobile application, chatbot or any plastic card as identification. This enables the driver to use the same account in different interaction scenarios: on the website when buying fuel or energy, in the mobile application or chatbot when refueling or charging.
3. Constructor: easy configuration of complex processes with the help of ready-made inCust modules
The inCust platform is like a Swiss knife: depending on your needs, you get the necessary tools that easily interact with others. In a minute, you can configure various complex schemes – for example, changing the pricing policy for VIP customers or notifying a customer in the case of any specific events, or complex schemes for reservation and payment for fuel or energy. All inCust modules work with each other. For example, when a customer is buying fuel “in advance” in a mobile application, we must credit the fuel to the customer account and also inform the customer via the usual communication channel (mobile application, chatbot, instant messaging, SMS, e-mail) about crediting their account. Most of these processes don’t need to be programmed; they are configured by the manager in the business control panel.
In order to launch a modern fuel card, you don’t need to issue any plastic cards. You can arrange the sale of fuel or energy using fuel accounts, governed by a public offer, without using any additional documents.
- Cloud service: use on inCust servers with a monthly service charge
- On premises: purchase a software license and then install and use the platform on your servers