Posted By

Aaron Mireles


Before Don Frieden started his company, gas stations hadn’t innovated their payment technology
since 1997. He knew that needed to change.

Original Post | Innovationmap

Before Don Frieden started his company, gas stations hadn't innovated their payment technology since 1997. He knew that needed to change.

P97, founded in 2012, exists to use innovative technologies to simplify and energize daily journeys, Frieden explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast.

The fast-growing company — which has nearly 200 employees, most of whom work from Houston — has raised over $100 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase, most recently closing a $40 million series C round earlier this year. This funding has supported P97 as its expanded its technology, even expanding outside of gas station payments and into other sectors, like consumer packaged goods, mobile app development, and alternative fuel sources.

Part of what P97 is focused on too is adapting new technologies, including biometrics, and applying them to the payments world. Voice-enabled payments is something in particular that Frieden is working on.

"One of the things we’re most excited about is voice enable payments through our partnership with Amazon's Alexa," he explains. "The landscape of payments at gas stations underwent this next revolution, and we're using cutting-edge speech recognition and artificial intelligence to allow drivers to pay for fuel just using their voice.

"It makes the process faster and more efficient, and is completely hands-free," he continues, explaining that biometrics are also safer compared to card transactions. "From this time I say, 'Alexa, buy gas,' six seconds later, the gas would be turned on and any loyalty rewards I have would be applied, all from the comfort of my car."

Frieden shares more about the future of P97, payments, and the energy industry as it intersects with P97 — including the future of alternative fuels — on the podcast. Listen to the interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.

You can work long and hard to create digital offers and coupons for your QSR brand. However,if they aren’t relevant, valuable, or easy to redeem, they won’t convert, negating your investment and leaving you little to show in terms of ROI. But there are a few surefire ways you can guarantee that the digital offers you build will resonate. No, not all offers are created equal, and what works for one QSR may not work for another,because not all brands and their customers are the same. However,among the most successful campaigns, we’ve found five key ingredients that make digital offers convert time and again. Building Offers with IntentionalityWith the decreased popularity of brick-and-mortar retail and the increased prevalence of mobile phones, quick-serve C-stores and CPG brands are perfectly poised to attract customers who are in the market for quick service with convenient buying methods. But will they act on this opportunity? These five digital offer features are consistently found among the most successful campaigns: 
  1. Best-in-class mobile app. With the right mix of features, mobile apps have the power to help you convert more digital offers and create more loyal customers. The best QSR apps provide:
  • Easy onboarding and account creation
  • Clean, simple UI
  • Visually appealing product promotion
  • Rewards status updates and redemption
  • Mobile ordering and payment
  1. Personalized, targeted content. What drives consumers in-store are offers that speak directly to their previous purchases and buying habits. Any brand can print a mass-distributed coupon, but digital offers provide a unique opportunity to target buyers with personalized content that features their favorite CPG products. Withthe help of geolocation capabilities, you can reach them at the exact time and location you want—when they’re right outside your store.
  1. Omni-channel capabilities. While smartphones continue to reign supreme as consumers’ preferred device, shoppers still use other channels—especially to connect with brands. In fact, 50% of consumers prefer that brands communicate with them via email. Reinforce promotional messages on multiple channels to not only build awareness of campaigns, but toremind customers to stop in. Though push notifications and in-app messages work well for on-site promotion, email is a great way to inform, while social media can help you connect with customers on a more personal level.
  1. Loyalty components. Research shows that 61% of loyal customers go out of their way to buy from the brands they love, while 60% will make more frequent purchases. Building a loyalty program is not only a great way to provide deserving customers with greater value, but keep them close over time so their affinity can grow. But don’t forget to honor their loyalty with frequent rewards to keep them engaged. Eighty-eight percent of fuel customers say loyalty rewards influence their decision to visit a convenience store brand.
  1. Mobile ordering & payment. If you want your digital offers to convert, you have to make it easy for customers to redeem them. Already, mobile ordering is becoming one of the most popular and convenient ways for QSRs to increase their revenue, as customers often purchase more when they order ahead. By 2020, ordering ahead will drive $38 billion at fast casual or QSRs in the US, accounting for more than 10% of total QSR industry sales. In addition, mobile payments provide the ultimate convenience by allowing customers to pay at the pump or quickly in-store. By integrating your mobile app with an mPOS, you can offer customers the option to pay quickly and conveniently using their phones, while also encouraging in-store traffic and purchases.
 You can’t predict your customers’ buying behavior—but you can influence it. When you pair digital promotions with mobile strategies that appeal to consumer communication and purchasing preferences, you can entice them in-store for increased foot traffic and offer-related revenue. Create Offers That ConvertP97’s mobile commerce platform makes it easy to build a best-in-class mobile app, create a loyalty program, integrate with point of sale systemsand increase product sales with highly targeted offers that reach millions of customers at once. With the ability to easily locate your store, pay at the pump, pre-order from your QSR, and redeem their rewards points, consumers are more likely to convert to customers with the digital offers you send. In fact, P97 fuel retailers boast 44% higher non-fuel, in-store basket sizes compared with the NACS average. Start sending targeted omni-channel offers that convert by scheduling a demo today.

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