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SAN FRANCISCO -- Shell Oil Products US is adopting Visa's partial authorization technology, making it easier for motorists to purchase gas at the pump using a Visa prepaid card. The solution prevents declined transactions when the prepaid card balance is less than the typical cost of a full tank of gas, according to a Visa statement.
Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Co. with about 6,000 branded stations in the Western United States, is in the process of expanding partial authorization.
Now, once a Shell customer inserts a Visa prepaid card into the automatic fuel dispenser to begin pumping gas, Visa's authorization service checks with the card issuer for funds available. If the card only has enough funds to pay for a portion of the total gas purchase, the transaction will no longer be declined, prompting the cardholder to "see attendant." Instead, the pump can now be instructed to shut off when the card funds reach zero.
Consumers can use Visa prepaid Gift and Incentive, TravelMoney, Buxx, Payroll and General Purpose cards to pay for gas at participating stations. Partial authorization can help average approval rates increase by up to 25 percent at automated fuel dispenser (AFD) merchants, according to Visa.
"Visa is focused on building the prepaid category infrastructure to help ensure convenient acceptance and to give consumers greater flexibility to use Visa prepaid cards in more places," said Todd Brockman, senior vice president of prepaid products for Visa USA, in a written statement.