Monday, February 28, 2011

Speaking of gas stations...

has anyone else encountered gas pumps that no longer accept debit cards? Many of the gas stations around my area have switched to cash or credit only, and I also noticed that at the big truckstop, they have a lower price for diesel if you pay with cash versus paying with credit card.

Signs of the times, or harbingers of worse to come?

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

Not uncommon. There are strict regulations on running the debit cards particularly if they are pin based. The fuel stop has to collect the information just long enough to run the transaction and then delete it as per PCI regulations. The credit card processors charge a lower fee for debit card transactions though. You can probably get the cash price if you pay inside, it's just difficult to get the technology to work right at the pump. The CC companies charge the retailer fees per transaction, hence the higher fuel cost.

Shepherd K said...

I haven't seen a cash/credit only gas station in a long time. If memory serves right, RaceTrac was the only one doing that in the DFW area until they finally started allowing debit cards several years ago. I'm pretty sure truck stops have been doing a cash discount price for a long time. I know they were when I was commuting to Houston every week a few years ago.

DaddyBear said...

The Thornton's chain here in Indiucky actually give you a 3 cents a gallon break for using your debit card at the pump. I haven't run into anyone who won't take a debit transaction in quite a while.

ZerCool said...

My debit cards are backed by MC/Visa, so they get used as credit cards either way. Never ever punch my PIN into a machine outside the ATM.

The lower cash price is because they're not trying to recoup the merchant fees for credit transactions. Last I remember reading, the profit margin on gas (at retail) is about 3% - in other words, almost exactly what MC/V will charge the merchant to process the sale. At $3/gal, if they raise the credit price $0.10 over the cash price, they're still making what little profit they can on gas.

Christina LMT said...

All of this makes sense, and I appreciate the info. I just find it odd that the gas stations, all different companies, mind you, should suddenly stop taking debit. From one day to the next, that's all.

Mike W. said...

I wouldn't know, I got rid of my debit cards years ago. Only credit cards or cash for me.

Old NFO said...

Jennifer is right.

Robert said...

Huh. The profit is from ciggy sales, not gas, I am told.