Shell to Launch $aver Card Nationally

Offering new e-check payment option; cuts costs, ups loyalty for wholesalers, retailers

Published in CSP Daily News

HOUSTON -- Shell Oil Products US will be the first major gasoline retailer to nationally launch an electronic check payment method when the Shell $aver Card becomes available to consumers on Jan. 5, 2009. The Shell $aver Card will provide a new way to pay for purchases through a direct link to a consumer's checking account and offer a savings on each gallon of fuel pumped at participating Shell-branded stations. Shell wholesalers and retailers will benefit from the Shell $aver Card's flat, per-transaction merchant service fee that the company said is lower than third-party debit [image-nocss] and credit cards.

"We are pleased to soon introduce the Shell $aver Card, a payment solution that's right for just about any debit or third-party credit card holder out there," said Elizabeth Hudson, head of U.S. consumer cards for Shell Oil Products US, Houston. "The Shell $aver Card will provide a money-saving alternative to consumers who prefer to pay for gasoline or diesel purchases directly from a checking account."

The Shell $aver Card, which will be issued to consumers from Shell, has no application or annual fees and will offer a promotional savings of five cents per gallon on Shell fuel purchases until June 1, 2009 and two cents per gallon thereafter. The card can be used at participating Shell-branded stations for any purchases except lottery tickets; however, the discount applies only to gasoline and diesel purchases. Consumers interested in obtaining a Shell $aver Card will be required to pick up an inactive card at a participating Shell-branded station to start the application process.

The Shell $aver Card will also cut down the cost of doing business for Shell wholesalers and retailers, the company said. The Shell $aver Card offers up to a 50% merchant service fee savings per transaction over costs to accept third-party credit cards, it said. Additionally, based on the results of a 2007 Shell pilot program that offered the option of e-check payment technology, wholesalers and retailers saw customer loyalty increase by as much as 40% through consumer conversions to this payment method.

All Shell $aver Card transactions will be routed through the Shell network by payment processor First Data, and each transaction will be processed using First Data's TeleCheck check verification services. The Shell $aver Card will be the latest addition to the Shell portfolio of payment options, which includes the Shell Platinum MasterCard, Shell Gasoline Card, Shell Gift Card, Shell Refillable Card and the Shell Fleet Card.

Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Co., is a major refiner, transporter and marketer fuels and has a network of approximately 6,100 branded gas stations in the western United States. Shell Oil is an affiliate of the Shell Group. Motiva Enterprises LLC refines and markets branded products through approximately 8,100 Shell-branded stations in the eastern and southern United States. Shell Oil is a 50% owner of Motiva, along with Saudi Refining Inc.