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WAWA, Pa. -- Looking to reduce debit and credit card fees, Wawa hopes to encourage gas customers to pay cash at the pumps, according to a report by DailyLocal.com.
The company is offering a cash discount of gas purchases at nine Wawa stores. Depending on the location, the discount is 1 to 5 cents, Steve Gamble, gas services manager at Wawa, told the news organization.
The intent is to "pass along savings to our customers," Gamble said.
Five of the stores in the program in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley have been testing for six months. Last week, several stores in Maryland began offering the program. This week several stores in New Jersey also will offer the cash discounts, Gamble said.
In the Lehigh Valley, "customers are giving us positive feedback," Gamble said. "As we get closer to our core market in the future, we will start the second phase of testing."
One thing to consider is how the cash discounts will play out in different states, Gamble said.
Also, if customers use the Wawa Visa card, the benefits awarded are more beneficial than the cash discount. The Wawa credit card offers 10-percent savings on Wawa purchases for the first 90 days and 4 percent, thereafter, he noted.
Ross Dibono, executive director of the Pennsylvania Gasoline Retailers Association in Philadelphia, told the news organization that cash discounts are happening in different pockets of the country.
There is no conflict with the credit card companies because the store is not upcharging, he noted. Upcharging, Dibono explained, would occur if a customer bought $50 in gas but was charged 5 percent more, or $52.50, if the customer used a credit card.
Instead, it is offering a discount. If the customer rings up a $50 gas purchase, a 5 percent discount means the customer would pay $47.50 in cash.
"We would love to see Wawa do this across the board," Dibono told DailyLocal.com.