Aussies Are Fuming Over Being Forced To Pay For Petrol In-Store, Unlike The Rest Of The ~Advanced~ World

    "They have this technology in the USA of all places! If they can, we can."

    Oftentimes, it feels like Australia is playing catch-up to the rest of the world when it comes to technology — after all, we're still waiting on Venmo to become a thing here. But one of the biggest pet peeves and widespread tech-fails remains Australia's refusal to adapt to contactless payment for petrol.

    One such Aussie took to Reddit to vent about the absurdity of the situation and call for Australia to "get this done already":

    In the comments, both Aussies and our international friends shared their views on the situation, as well as the real reasons that we've been left behind the rest of the world.

    Here are some of the best responses:

    1. "It's the 'We want people in store to buy shit' bit which applies. The profit margin on fuel is minimal. They bargain on people making impulse buys while they go to pay for fuel. That $7 coke-and-chocolate combo or the sneaky sausage roll, or the packet of smokes — they all add to the bottom line. It's not people planning to buy stuff. It's impulse buying, which is a proven technique."


    2. "I design petrol stations for many of the big providers, and the number one design priority (behind safety) is to maximise retail sales floor area, so maximum choc bars and energy drinks can be squeezed in. To the point where back-of-house space will be sacrificed for staff to fit more sales shelves in."


    Can someone tell me why these arent at coles or woolworths etc anymore? I found them at some random service station in Barrabra. Yes I am stocking up. Yes it was way more expensive because it was a servo.

    Twitter: @trinest

    3. "The current servo setup of 'you must go inside' is also super inaccessible. I'm disabled, and although I can walk (sometimes with a cane) and drive, sometimes I have higher levels of pain, or walking is more difficult and strained."

    "Getting out of the car to fuel up is hard enough, let alone walking inside. I have the BP app which definitely helps at times. But I do really wish that full service servos existed (or that there was a button at the pump for people with disability to get assisted fueling). We’re so far behind, it’s mind-boggling."


    4. "It's also a safety thing for parents with young kids. You can't leave them in the car to go in and pay, and you don't really want to take them with you across the service station forecourt."


    5. "Just got back from living in the UK. You pay at the pump there, but they pre-charge you £99 and don't give you the balance back for a few days, so it's not all gravy."


    6. "Canada has had mandatory 'pay at the pump' in many provinces for almost 20 years, mainly for safety reasons, after a few petrol station attendants died while trying to stop fuel theft. It's easy, it's convenient, and it's safer. The only reason I can think of why it's not in place here in Australia is so that they can try and sell you meat pies and energy drinks."


    I’ve been CRAVING an authentic Aussie servo sausage roll and meat pie for over 6 months, I’m so HAPPY RIGHT NOW!

    Twitter: @YugSTAR

    7. "BP has an app that lets you."


    8. "Fuck having another app on my phone. Just let me tap-and-go at the pump."


    9. "Not all BP servos have the app. I used to work at a BP gas station until recently, and I had seen quite a few customers complain about not being able to use the app to pay when they came into the store."


    Confusing trip to the petrol station: @BP_plc pleads “download our app!” while stating “no mobile phones”. Come on, make up your mind.

    Twitter: @theandymac65

    10. "The mark-up on petrol is tiny compared to the mark-up on all the other stuff. It's where petrol stations make money."


    11. "Most service station chains had 'pay at pump' about 10-15 years ago, but they realised customers paying at the pump weren't buying overpriced junk food in the store, so the facilities were all disabled."

    "Some places (I think Caltex?) allow you to pay at pump, but you have to use a card linked to the service station. That way they make money off you indirectly through the credit provider and also lock you into a single fuel provider under a guise of 'loyalty.' It's all a con.

    You can also subscribe to the company's mobile app and pay using the app. This gives them the added bonus of being able to scrape personal information from your phone as well as market directly to you using push notifications at virtually no cost."


    12. "I worked at a servo. I hated having to do the whole up-sell; it was a pain in the arse, and then if you didn't make enough up-sells, management would ask why. Um, because people don't want to buy more crap?"


    13. "Hi, American here. I'm confused. Pay at the pump is not standard in Australia? You have to go inside the station to pay every time, even for card transactions?"


    Australia is ahead of the US in every field other than being able to pay for petrol at the pump

    Twitter: @sarahsoys

    14. "Next 10–20 years petrol stations are as dead as Blockbusters. The companies that own them are already trying to think of what they can do with the real estate once everything goes electric. So they probably don’t give a shit that the current business model is outdated; shelf life for any improvements is limited."


    15. "I swiped for fuel at the pump in the US in 1997, and we still don't do it here in Aus."


    16. "I swiped for fuel in 1997 in Australia. The tech is not the problem; it was just unprofitable."


    17. "I don't want the American style of working coming here, where you authorise first, then it settles later. It's in use at Diesel stops, Costco, and until recently, some Caltex locations, and I hate it."

    "Pay in the store, or use the app. It works way better. Ampol's app doesn't need authorisation at each fill (only upon adding a card), and BP's authorises like most subscriptions do with a simple $1 authorisation to check details."


    Tried to "pay at pump" at A Caltex Woolworths petrol station - check out the pre-auth they wanted on my account!!

    Twitter: @trevorlong

    18. And finally: "It's for the same reason Chemist Warehouse makes you walk the entire length of their store twice and makes you wait in it unnecessarily. It's the reason why many airports require you to walk through a big duty-free shop just to get to the gates. Why supermarkets put the milk at the very back. People standing next to or walking past shelves of items increases sales. It's that simple."


    What do you think of paying in-store vs. paying at the pump? Let us know your opinions on this topic in the comments below!