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Fuel outlets change weapons in loyalty war

NZN 20/07/2016 Pattrick Smellie

The battle for customer loyalty between fuel retailers is heating up, with Z Energy dropping supermarket docket-based discounts for a new Fly Buys offer and BP launching a phone app allowing petrol payment without leaving your car.

While Z's newly acquired chain of Caltex service stations will still offer supermarket docket discounts through Progressive Enterprises' Countdown supermarkets, Z-branded service stations will drop that arrangement and let customers redeem Fly Buys points for special discounts that will vary from day to day, starting in August.

The 'Fly Buys Pumped' programme will still allow members to collect award points on fuel purchases while allowing Z to extract greater value from its 25 per cent ownership of Loyalty New Zealand, which manages Fly Buys, the country's most widely held loyalty scheme with some 2.5 million account holders.

Meanwhile, BP is close to launching the 'BPMe' phone app, which it says will allow customers to pay for fuel purchases from their car rather than swiping cards at the pump or queuing in the service station.

The app will also record fuel purchases, remember regular fill-ups and allow purchases from BP's on-site cafes.

BP and Caltex continue to offer supermarket docket discounts through Progressive Enterprises, while Mobil has a supermarket docket tie-up with the Foodstuffs supermarket brands New World and Pak'n Save.

In the complex world of fuel loyalty schemes, both Caltex and BP also offer loyalty points through the Automobile Association's AA Smartfuel programme.

"The old paper-based supermarket dockets have been dwindling in popularity, with people telling us they want instant fuel discounts instead," said Z's marketing general manager Jane Anthony.

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