Two of the main reasons for this about turn in policy are to make it easier to pay for fuel in time for major influxes of tourists for the 2010 soccer World Cup, and to make petrol stations safer places for all.
It is, however, up to the management of each petrol stations to whether or not it will accept credit cards, and it might take a bit of time for petrol stations to get the necessary facilities in place.
BP has made a statement saying that it is the only petroleum retailer in South Africa to offer credit, cheque and debit card fuel payments to motorists from the comfort of their cars.
Joe Mahlo, Head of Marketing at BP, says the company has extended its debit card payment service currently offered at most of its BP service stations nationally, to include credit and cheque card payments as of 14 July.
“BP has invested R20-million in infrastructure and operational costs to offer debit, credit and cheque card payments in readiness for the change in legislation in order to better serve customers.
“BP, recognizing that crime continues to be a major concern on forecourts, believes that the introduction of credit, cheque and debit card transactions will lead to reduced cash on the forecourt and a safer environment for dealers, forecourt staff and motorists.
“The portable payment terminal at BP service stations allows customers to conclude the transaction by inputting their pin number when paying with a debit or a chip based, credit and/or cheque card without getting out of their vehicle, nor ever losing sight of their cards.
“This mode of transacting not only reduces transaction time but also allows for total transaction visibility, and is safer because there is no cash involved”, says Mahlo.
Other benefits include reduced forecourt congestion and fraud possibilities as the card is not taken away to be swiped at a central point, but this is done right at the pump in one’s car. Similar safety measures have been put in place when transacting with all types of credit or cheque cards at BP forecourts.
BP service stations offering this method of payment will have prominent notices to indicate such.