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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2773 - April 02, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

PayPal Gets Gas - with New SmartPay Mobile App

By Ina Steiner
April 02, 2012

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PayPal collaborated with convenience store Cumberland Farms to create a mobile app called SmartPay that allows consumers to pay for gas using their mobile phone and PayPal. The new Cumberland Farms SmartPay app automatically locates the nearest gas station and lets users turn on the pump and pay with PayPal while still inside the car - though you still have to get out of the car to pump the gas.

The pilot program launched on Friday at 50 Cumberland Farms stores across Massachusetts. Based on the success of the pilot, Cumberland Farms may roll it out to additional locations in the coming months.

For a limited time, customers get five cents off per gallon when they buy their gas using the app. (Funding terms of the promotion have not been disclosed.)

The app is now available on iPhone and Android smartphones, and Cumberland Farms has also launched a mobile web site at www.cfsmartpay.com. ("One quick point to note: the app pre-authorizes a $100 charge on your PayPal account but then reverts to the correct amount after your gas purchase.")

Oddly, the Terms of Service states, "For your safety, due to fire risk, each vehicle gas purchase requires a separate SmartPay App transaction."

Customers need a GPS-enabled mobile device and a PayPal account in order to use the SmartPay app. More information is available on the PayPal blog and on the Cumberland Farms website.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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