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    Love’s Customers Take to RFID Technology

    The chain is using radio frequency identification for commercial fuel transactions.

    By Tammy Mastroberte, Convenience Store News

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- This August, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. completed its first successful customer transaction using radio frequency identification (RFID) at the pump, making the Oklahoma City-based retailer the first truck stop chain to achieve this goal.

    Currently, 10 commercial companies are testing the technology, allowing their truck fleets to purchase diesel fuel without having to swipe a credit card.

    “Everything is going well, and the technology has been positively received by our fleet customers," said Jim Xenos, Love's vice president and chief information officer.

    Love’s is currently working with Comdata and DF Connect, which issues the RFID tags to customers, as well as QuikQ, which developed the Fuel Island Manager software to read the tags. The fuel transaction is controlled within the lane based on the RFID tag, which is specific to each truck.

    The tag is attached to the windshield of the truck, and when a driver enters the commercial fuel lane at a Love’s location, an antenna reads the tag based on encrypted code. The software routes the information to the appropriate payment processor, which sends approval back to authorize the pump, Xenos explained.

    Love’s technology team had to install the QuikQ software and the physical antennas in the commercial lanes in order to accept the RFID transactions. As of November, the company had 136 locations fully installed. Its remaining stores are expected to be installed and operational by year-end.

    Now that the infrastructure is in place, as more payment companies begin offering RFID tags, Love’s will be ready to accept them as well.

    As the technology continues to grow and becomes proven in the marketplace, Xenos expects even more customers to utilize the tags, and with diesel being the largest part of the company’s business, the chain will focus its efforts on commercial fueling transactions.

    “In the future, there may be other ways to utilize the tag,” Xenos noted. “Maybe we can identify them as they pull into the entrance of the lot, or use at our tire shops to read the tag and identify what we need to know about the company."

    By Tammy Mastroberte, Convenience Store News
    • About Tammy Mastroberte Contributing Editor Tammy Mastroberte is an award-winning writer, with more than 16 years of experience in the magazine publishing industry. She writes on a variety of subjects, including retail technology. Mastroberte previously served as executive editor of EnsembleIQ’s Convenience Store News.

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