Reporting Paula Ebben
BOSTON (CBS) – Does a more convenient way to get gas and save money at the same time sound too good to be true? It might not be any more.
At about 50 Cumberland Farm stores in the Boston area, drivers can now pay with a smartphone and save 5 cents a gallon at the same time.
The program is called Smart Pay and it will be available at all Massachusetts’ Cumberland Farms in the next month or so.
“You launch the app. You sign into PayPal, and within a second or two, it is going to come back and ask which pump you are at. Basically the pump is going to authorize as if you swiped a card and the price is going to roll back 5 cents,” Dave Banks, a spokesman for Cumberland Farms, explained.
The savings can add up. The federal government estimates the average household uses 1,100 gallons of gas a year. That 5 cents a gallon savings translates into $55 dollars back in your pocket.
Customers at the Framingham Cumberland Farms said they would be willing to try anything if it meant saving money on gas.
Paying with a mobile device is less scary for many people than it once was. All of these transactions are handled by the Pay Pal system.
PayPal’s Walt Doyle believes this system is safer than using a traditional credit card.
“There is less capability… for fraudulent activity than with a physical credit card,” said Doyle.
All transactions are password protected.
This system can be convenient in ways you wouldn’t automatically think of.
“We’ve even had some people, their wife was down at Cumberland, and she didn’t have a card or anything, and you can turn the pump on sitting in your living room for someone you know,” said Banks.