One of our valued contributors recently suggested we take a look at the work of the Saudi Arabian gas station automation company, MVCC. The company recently launched a self-service automated fuel dispenser (“AFD”) service working with the MADA payments system. (MADA is the universal payments system in Saudi Arabia – almost every bank account is issued a MADA debit card in the Kingdom.)
The system is a fully automated point-of-sale system that’s added to a gas pump to enable customers to serve themselves fuel, whenever they want. This is the first device of its kind in the Saudi Arabian marketplace and it’s also the first to be certified and approved by both the Saudi Central Bank and Saudi Payments teams.
By default, the customer selects the amount of fuel they wish (eg 5 SAR worth) and uses their MADA contactless card to tap on the MADA-AFD device. Although contactless is the preferred and quickest method of payment, card swipe and insertion of the card are also supported to ensure wide support.
Although the overwhelming majority of Saudis expect to be served at the pump by ‘pump jockeys’ or service assistants who will operate the pump for them, and take their payments, there is a strong need for this kind of automation. First, as anyone who has visited a busy gas station in Saudi will tell you, there is not always someone available to manage your payment – often customers have to simply sit in their cars until the single POS unit is available!
Second, with the Kingdom’s ongoing transformation toward Vision 2030, there is a strong push by authorities to continue to encourage a digital-first approach – including the use of contactless payments.
We, therefore, judge that the creation and development of MADA-AFP (Automated Fuel Dispenser) is an excellent offering for the Saudi marketplace (and beyond) and extend the Payments Innovator Award, 2023 to MVCC. We wish to congratulate the team at MVCC for their ingenuity and wish them every success for the future.
Assigned by Sebastien Parker
Senior Research Analyst
Global Banking Monitor
30th May 2023
Notes: Read about our Award methodology here.