Truck Stops Brace for Mobile Payments Windfall With Gas Pos, Twilio
The truck stop is a venerable part of Americana, and serves as a vital support network to the American transportation industry. Without transportation, much of America’s commerce would die on the vine, with products unable to reach customers. Truck stops are poised to reap a serious new windfall, thanks to a new mobile payments-based team-up between Gas Pos and Twilio.
The new combination features Twilio’s cloud communications capabilities connecting with Gas Pos’ mobile payments system known as “Steve”. It was apparently named after its first customer, and serves as a virtual payment network. With Twilio to back it up, the end result is a system that can perform payment processing on several currently-operational payment networks. This provides fewer overall restrictions to the system, better cost tracking and reporting options, and all at lower costs than current alternatives.
Gas Pos detailed how the current system features “its fair share of oligopolies,” including WEX’s EFS and FleetCor’s Comdata systems. These systems come with substantial fees, and those fees mean billions of dollars a year to the current fleet fuel card network systems. Gas Pos notes that, to a truck stop owner, the fees paid out to the data networks can represent an entire year’s net profit. Its estimates figure that the average truck stop will be able to save around $40,000 a month by switching.
There’s a great potential for savings here that most truck stops won’t easily refuse. Yet as a comparative newcomer to the market, a lot of truck stops are probably going to look askance at these numbers and wonder about the potential downside. Is Gas Pos, for example, sufficiently reliable? Sure, WEX and FleetCor cost an arm and a leg, but they work. A payment network that can’t handle the volume will likely do more damage economically than a payment network with merely exorbitant fees.
If Gas Pos can make its case sufficiently—and it’d likely need a couple of truck stops willing to try it, probably at no charge to get them on board—then the case studies would likely sell Gas Pos better than anything. For right now, though, this may have a tough time getting mainstreamed because it’s just not a known quantity.