AARHUS, Denmark—Circle K has brought its AI-based Easy Fuel pay-by-license plate technology to Denmark with last week’s introduction at 120 of 225 petrol stations in the country and plans to roll out the capability nationwide by month’s end. The news follows Easy Fuel’s launch in Sweden in April 2021.
Circle K, which is owned by Quebec, Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, last year won the coveted NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award, recognizing the global retailer’s Pay by Plate payment technology used for fuel purchases. The award, sponsored by Gilbarco-Veeder Root, was presented on June 1, 2021, during the virtual NACS Convenience Summit Europe.
To use pay by plate, customers simply drive onto the forecourt, fill up with fuel and, through number plate recognition, pay for the fuel on the Circle K Easy Fuel app. The technology aligns with established number plate recognition technology used on toll roads, bridges and parking garages/carparks across Europe, making it familiar to many European motorists.
“It should be as easy as possible to be a customer in Circle K,” Sisse Follmann, who heads Circle K’s rollout of Easy Fuel in Denmark, said in a news release. “With ‘EASY FUEL’ it has become a little easier, and the solution is open to everyone. Customers just need to register in the app, then in the future just get out of the car and immediately start refueling. You do not need a card or cash. The system reads the number plate on your car and unlocks the stand at which you park.”
Circle K customers can discover which stations offer the easier payment solution and which station is closest in the Easy Fuel app, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
“We are proud that in the future our customers can pay via the car’s number plate when refueling at Circle K. Everything can be done 100% automatically, as long as the app is installed and the phone is in the car or pocket. It makes life a little easier for our customers—and Circle K is the first in the world with the solution. More than half of our stations are already connected to ‘EASY FUEL’ and at the end of January we expect everyone to be on,” said Sisse Follmann.
Circle K has more than 225 shops and petrol stations in Denmark, as well as more than 150 Ingo stations. In total, Circle K has about 2,300 full-service stations (fuel and shop) and vending machines (fuel only) in Europe, and more than 18,500 Circle K employees worldwide.
The NACS Convenience Summit Europe (convenience.org/CSE) is where global retailers gather each year to gain and share knowledge on strategic industry issues, while taking a deep dive into how these core, retail-centric themes will impact the industry today and in the future. This year’s event is taking place in Berlin, Germany, from May 31 to June 2, 2022.