Re: Paying For Fuel BEFORE You Fill Up.
I never used any of them in the USA, NZ or Europe.
I was there less than 12 months ago. Drive offs are a problem in australia. Also having cash in a petrol station is a problem. Keeping track of customers as they fill up, park somewhere else, fill something else up, wash the windows, walk in and out of the shop 4 times etc can also be diffcult if there is only one person at the console looking after 10+ pumps and 20+ customers.
I can see why, but it completely sucks. It reduces the losses (very critical in a petrol station, margins are wafer thin), reduces the risk of the attendant being distracted and stabbed/shot/robbed etc.
The problem I belive with the EFTPOS terminals was that it would debit $60 from your card and then rebate the diffrence from your petrol and the $60 over a 48hr period.
Some members of the public complained, they needed that $5.78 to buy half a pack of smokes or get 1 can of beer. And they needed it now not in 48hr.
Also this is a great way to get people onto fuel cards. Although I don't know of any particular widely used personal fuel card system (motorcharge and motorpass seem to be less and less common these days), eventually I can see it going that way.
Shell/fleetcards are great for petrol companies, they lock heavy use customers into their servos, and basically give the idea that petrol is essentially free for the user, and only accountants worry about it. They also save a swag on banking charges. They can process them quicker in theory, tie in promotions etc as they please and keep alot of information about purchases.