Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Peter Harding: business development director HTEC

This past couple of months have seen a new iPhone (the 7), new IOS 10 and not much else. IOS 10 is said to provide much better connection (untested by me) for home connectable appliances there is even a home app button on the main screen.

With regards to the market that we all work in, there has been little change. Software changes, a couple of other pos vendors, but on the face of it how long will it take any player to achieve the necessary approvals, interfaces and supplier links to properly break into the market? Experience shows it'll be a long time.

Going dark in tobacco came and went. And the new cigarette gantry from Htec looks interesting with its ability to either be faced by shelving or by a media screen.

The concept of a cigarette gantry is a very good. One of the traditional sources of theft/loss is that of cigarettes. Properly controlled, a gantry offers a retailer perfect reconciliation. No need to lose product any more. That's got to be good news.

One of the technologies that never quite made it was ANPR or Automatic Number Plate Recognition. It is widely used in vehicle recognition by the police, but the widespread commercial use of this technology has been hindered by two factors: cost of equipment and use of a national database.

But digital cameras are down in price dramatically when compared with normal high street equipment costs. For ANPR to work at its best, it needs the use of top- quality, high-resolution cameras. It will work, however, with CCTV cameras too. It will be an innovative company that uses this technology to use the data differently. By that, I mean for marketing purposes. What better identifier than that of the unique vehicle mark? Not just loyalty applications but membership schemes too will be coming to the fore.

Not only do we have contactless cards these days but Apple Pay (on the iPhone 6 and above) and Android pay applications have started to hit the market. But it will need a higher floor limit payment by contactless to take off.

In the meantime, however, Shell has Fill up and Go, which gives you the ability to authorise a pump and pay for a transaction while by the car.

How long before other oil companies follow suit, I wonder?

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 2 October 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East120.5363.90127.17119.00
East Midlands120.03127.76118.80
London120.3757.90128.81118.85
North East119.80129.71118.46
North West120.19127.87118.63
Northern Ireland119.22125.23117.53
Scotland120.2463.80126.78118.50
South East120.7259.90129.39119.48
South West120.39128.00119.02
Wales120.0459.90126.47118.61
West Midlands120.0865.90128.12118.84
Yorkshire & Humber119.73127.02118.57

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