LONDON, 2016-Jun-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — S-Group has won the 2016 NACS Insight European Technology Implementation Award, sponsored by Verifone, a world leader in payments and commerce solutions. The award was presented during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London on June 9 at this year’s International Convenience Retailer Awards gala.
The award recognizes S-Group for the implementation of a new mobile fueling feature to its award-winning S-Mobile iPhone app, an innovative service that combines retail, banking and fueling to transform the entire retail customer experience. S-Group is a renowned Finnish cooperative group of companies operating in the retail sector. The mobile fueling app was launched by two of S-Group’s subsidiaries: S-Bank, which provides all co-op members with comprehensive banking services and ABC, a service station chain and fuel trade company. The app is available for iPhone, Android and Windows phones.
S-Mobile automatically recognizes the customer’s location, and fueling is initiated by simply choosing the correct fuel pump from the app. After fueling, the payment is handled automatically through the S-Bank Visa card, linking the payment with customer loyalty benefits. S Group’s mobile app has more than 600,000 downloads in Finland, a country with a population of 5.4 million.
“We want to create simple services with a superb digital banking and retail experience for our 2.8 million customers. With our service, customers no longer need to use traditional card readers and PIN codes at the petrol station. In the Finnish winter, where temperatures can dip below -30 degrees Celsius, traditional pump activation is a hassle. We believe that the app can overcome such inconveniences and ensure a seamless customer experience with automatic payments for the user. This new service is only one way in which we aim to make everyday life easier for our customers,” said Pekka Ylihurula, managing director of S-Bank.
“S-Group shares Verifone’s commitment to helping gas stations and convenience stores enhance the consumer experience, and we are honored to recognize S-Group for its forward-thinking and innovative S-Mobile app solution, as well as the company’s leadership to inspire other businesses to identify and implement technology initiatives of their own,” said Brad McGuinness, Global Head of Petroleum Systems for Verifone.
“Consumers are looking for more speed in everything they do and in order to capitalize on the opportunity this creates for our industry, convenience retailers need to be at the forefront of technology implementation,” said Dan Munford, managing director of Insight. “S-Group’s innovation makes customer’s lives easier and the feature that allows tracking of petrol consumption is compelling.”
NACS President and CEO Henry Armour congratulated S-Group for its commitment to advancing technology best practices. “S-Group’s mobile fueling and payments app is an innovative technology platform retailers around the world can learn from, particularly markets where data security and new payment options are top of mind.”
Now in its third year, the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe (conveniencesummit.com) brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals from around the world to discuss new ideas and gain new commercial connections. This year’s event kicked off in Stockholm on June 5 and ends on June 11 in Dublin.
Note to editors: Images available upon request.
Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.