A major initiative by petroleum company, BP, to reduce cash on service stations to make them less attractive to criminals has paid off handsomely.
In just over two months since BP launched its cash-free, new method of payment for fuel, called Swipa – allowing customers to pay for fuel by debit card – more than R22-million in cash has already been removed from BP forecourts.
Sipho Maseko, BP’s chief operating officer, says: “Swipa has allowed us to reduce the risks associated with handling cash on our forecourts dramatically and our service station staff, dealers and customers are reaping the rewards.
“Crime at service stations in general is unacceptably high, which is why we took the decision to invest over R20-million to rollout our portable payment terminals at BP service stations throughout the country, in an effort to combat crime.
“An additional benefit to our dealers is that the funds of debit card transactions are transferred electronically into their bank accounts thereby improving their cash flow efficiency.
“Swipa also provides other safety elements. Motorists can now use either their Maestro or Visa Electron debit cards at BP forecourts for fuel purchases and for the first time do not need to get out of their car to withdraw cash, nor will their card leave their sight, making it super safe and convenient," he adds.
When filling up at a BP service station the attendant will hand motorists the Swipa through which the fuel is to be paid and allow them to conclude the transaction by inputting their pin number when paying with a debit card.
This method of payment significantly reduces transaction time and at the same time provides the customer with total transaction visibility, and it’s safer because there is no cash involved.
Swipa has already been rolled out to over 370 BP service stations nationally and the offer will extend to over 450 BP service stations when the rollout has been completed.