The PumpStart of Something Big?

QuikTrip expands rollout of fuel card to thwart driveoffs

KANSAS CITY -- QuikTrip will implement its PumpStart Card program at all 70 Kansas City stores. The retailer began the free signup at all QuikTrip locations last Friday. QuikTrip officials were on site to demonstrate how the card works.

The QuikTrip stores in Kansas City lost almost $4 million in gasoline thefts last year. We intend to stop it, said spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh. By eliminating gas theft, law enforcement officers will be able to allocate more time and manpower to focus on other crimes. It will also help eliminate dangerous and erratic [image-nocss] driving by gasoline thieves speeding from our parking lots.

He added, The PumpStart program also allows store employees to give even better customer service as they will no longer have to worry whether a customer is trying to steal gasoline.

The law enforcement community enthusiastically applauds QuikTrip's pro-active stance to stop gasoline thefts, said Captain Rich Lockhart of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department. It will allow law enforcement to focus on more important crimes.

We have implemented this program in our Tulsa, Okla.; Wichita, Kansas; and 19 Kansas City metropolitan area stores and the response from customers and law enforcement officials has been very positive, Thornbrugh said. The PumpStart Card program is a more convenient payment system for cash customers at these prepay stores, and it eliminates gasoline theft.

The PumpStart program is the first of its kind in the United States, QuikTrip said. A QuikTrip store employee enters the customer's valid U.S. driver's license number and then issues the customer the new PumpStart card. By inserting the PumpStart card into the card reader at the pump, the cash customer can start the pump without having to go into the store and prepay for fuel. Nothing changes for customers paying with credit/debit cards at the pump.

The PumpStart program makes life easier for our cash customers, and tells the crooks you can't steal gas from QuikTrip, Thornbrugh said.

Tulsa-based QuikTrip Corp. is a privately owned gasoline/convenience store retailer with 448 stores in nine states.