We believe strategic partnerships and shared expertise are key to success in this industry. This is reflected in our SIQMA brand, which has been created with the celebration of teamwork at heart.
With SIQMA Connect as a basis, we have developed an open digital ecosystem, that offers endless opportunities for the seamless integration of new solutions and technology, while providing our customers one unified interface. This enables us to bring the industry’s best solution providers together building a network that allows each partner to share their unique skills and expertise.
This year we are honouring a special alliance that is now celebrating its 10th anniversary – our partnership with Europe’s leading payment providers, Worldline.
The occasion was marked with a celebratory get-together on June 20, 2023 in the beautiful city of Zurich, Switzerland where the CEOs of both companies, Jörg Heilingbrunner and Niklaus Santschi sat down to discuss and share their ideas on the future of the fuel station industry.
10 years is a long time in which the industry has advanced considerably. What is the secret of a successful cooperation?
The success of our collaboration lies in our open and honest culture of communication that is consistent throughout all hierarchy levels. We stand together as partners, even in tough situations, and master challenges together by finding pragmatic solutions.
Through this cooperation we can boost our joint expertise in all areas, and by using the innovative power of both companies we are able to offer our customers the best possible solutions at all times.
In today’s highly competitive new world of ev-charging, we believe the key to success lies in improving the charging experience for drivers and adding value. With smart and efficient solutions that take customer behaviour into account and are integrated into the overall process, we can make a real difference here and enable a seamless customer journey.
What payment trends are in store for the fuel retail industry?
The fuel station of the future – and with it the payment process – will change significantly in the near future: e-mobility in particular and the associated shift in focus from fuel to electricity and retail sales will drive this development.
It will be key to success to use the dwell time during the charging process to entice customers with special offers and convert them into returning customers through loyalty programmes. When it comes to shopping groceries at fuel stations, we will see an increase of the self-service trend with Scan & Pay technology.
The growth rates in this respect, which are already quite impressive, also show that the acceptance of payment via smartphone app in the shop, and at the pump (Pay@Pump/Pay@Drive) will continue to gain momentum: on the one hand, fuel station operators are increasingly focusing on digitisation, on the other hand new payment technology is embraced by customers and gaining trust.
In addition, innovative in-car payment solutions will have to stand the test of reality on the market.
What can be considered the basis of sustainable development?
In recent years, e-mobility has seen enormous growth, particularly in Europe, our core market, but also in China. This trend will increase even more in the coming years, especially as EV will play a key role in achieving climate goals. In Germany alone, the share of EV has increased tenfold since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Although in the majority of cases, the charging process currently takes place at home or at work, the public space will come into focus as EV become more popular. Here we must seize the opportunity and proactively shape this change by creating innovative ad hoc solutions that offer real added value for customers.
Not only are we able to integrate payment of new, alternative fuels such as eFuels, H2 or LPG into our systems, but we have also developed new solutions especially for the rapidly growing sector of EV charging.
By connecting the charging station to our POS system, customers can pay for their electricity and shop sales in just one step. The connection to the fuel terminal enables fuel station operators to easily expand their forecourt offer.
Furthermore, with SIQMA PowerPay, we have developed a cost-efficient kiosk payment terminal that enables PCI-compliant card payments for multiple charging points whilst also time meeting charging station regulation requirements (LSV).
Another key aspect is the intelligence in the background, which will play an increasingly important role in the future.
The topic of AI - currently on everyone's lips in the form of ChatGPT - will also become more relevant for us. We are only at the beginning, but the variety of possibilities is breathtaking: dynamic pricing, loss prevention and the optimisation of operational processes, to name just a few examples, are all aspects that will be controlled by intelligent systems in the future.
In what way is shopping and customer behaviour predicted to change?
Although the growing popularity of e-mobility and the increasing penetration of charging stations will reduce the frequency of visits to traditional fuel stations, dwell time will rise significantly.
Traditional fuel retailers who set up ev charging for their customers will in the future not only be competing with similar businesses, but cafés, bistros, shopping centres, supermarkets, and independent charge point operators.
In addition, consumer behaviour, mindsets and expectations are constantly changing. To capitalise on these developments, retailers need to shift their perspective to the consumer.
In this context, on-site services, such as a fresh foodvenience offer, and rest areas are playing a crucial part to entice paying customers out of their cars and into the shops to the point of sale.
Scheidt & Bachmann and Worldline cover the entire mobility chain (refuelling, EV charging, parking, public transport) on a global scale, which means we can enable a seamless and uniform payment process for customers along all mobility activities, which contributes to a significant improvement in the customer journey.
And where does payment come into play here?
The combination of different payment methods with loyalty boosting features as well as established cooperations with car manufacturers, major oil companies, energy suppliers, public transport companies and car park operators take the payment process to the next level and pave the way for the transformation of traditional fuel stations to mobility hubs.
How relevant are partnerships in the context of this future transformation?
To put it into context: with the partnership between Scheidt & Bachmann and Worldline, we give our customers access to new customers and markets.
We achieve this by bundling our mutual know-how across Europe (and beyond). By that we make a significant contribution to the ongoing transformation of the fuel retail industry from fuel to mobility providers, with customer centricity being the fundamental criteria in all of our solutions.
How can our solutions offer an improved shopping experience?
The key is to direct our absolute focus towards providing an optimal customer experience for shoppers, which is enabled through a user-friendly process for employees. The happier the employees, the more pleasant the customer experience.
It is important to not develop our products in a quiet little room all by ourselves, but to listen – most of all to the people that deal with our payment and checkout products on a daily basis. How are our solutions actually used and perceived? How can they best be embedded in the overall concept? What about ease of use and maintenance? Are there any hurdles that still need overcoming?
We are facing an enormous shift towards a market that is massively shaped by electromobility, that is an undisputed fact. But other energy sources such as hydrogen and the increasing importance of the convenience retail offer at the fuel station will also provide great opportunities.
We are convinced that as a team - Worldline and Scheidt & Bachmann - we offer a unique combination of decades of experience on the one hand and great innovative strength on the other. Together we enable all players to ensure that their business thrives and grows sustainably by offering mobility solutions for a better, greener world.
We want to support our customers in providing a pleasant experience for all e-mobility and fuel retail use cases. A fast, safe and user-friendly payment process is a key aspect of ensuring a smooth shopping experience.
We are convinced that our partnership with Scheidt & Bachmann represents exceptional added value for our customers.
Worldline's Petrol & Energy Suite and Scheidt & Bachmann's SIQMA Connect are the answer to the increasing digitalisation in the payment sector, offering customers a seamless payment experience at the pump, car wash, shop and other points of contact. It enables forecourt operators to expand their range of accepted payment methods and gain access to new customers and sales channels. The Worldline and Scheidt & Bachmann solution covers the entire payment value chain, from payment acceptance and acquisition to value-added services such as Worldline DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion) and Worldline's Pay & Drive wallet.