/ 9 May 2011

Still paying cash for petrol? Use your card

Are you still paying cash for petrol? This could soon be a thing of the past, says BP. More than 30% of all forecourt payments at BP garages are now done by debit card, while about 10% still use garage cards. Plastic will soon dominate fuel payments, says Sipho Mbelle, BP’s head of sales and marketing.

What’s smart about using a card? Well, you don’t have to carry cash and the transaction is secure because it’s done in full sight of the customer — the card isn’t taken away to be swiped. It’s probably the safer, easier option for payment. It’s also a good crime prevention strategy as carrying cash at forecourts can be risky for customers and for staff.

In fact, my nearest garage’s ATM was blown up last week, which made me a bit anxious about driving around with cash in that area, especially after dark. Cash attracts trouble, particularly in crime hot-spots.

The Payment Association of South Africa says that seven out of 10 transactions in South Africa are being done with debit cards, which suggests that consumers feel safe with this method of payment.

Motorists can pay for fuel with any garage, fleet, debit, credit, cheque or charge card (such as American Express), or even Visa or MasterCard gift cards — the choice is yours.

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