UPDATE: Loyalty Comes FuelCircle

SVM steps into gasoline rewards game

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

DES PLAINES, Ill. -- Gift and prepaid card provider SVM LP has formed a new business unit that will focus on gasoline rewards and stored-value card management. The new business, named FuelCircle, will initially use SVM's relationships with oil companies like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Sunoco to create a branded, nationwide network for the redemption of stored-value, fuel rewards.

Over its 15-year history, SVM has developed fuel-branded gift cards with those companies, allowing it to launch its efforts with a national presence through participating gas stations and c-stores, said John Cullen, general manager for the division. Cullen told CSP Daily News that the larger vision is to develop a coalition program involving noncompeting retailers from other channels.

He called the program a "dollars off" model versus "cents off" because customers can earn larger rewards as they shop at participating retailers. "Fuel-rewards programs typically are funded at less than 1% to 2% of purchase," he said. "But shopping in the circle [or coalition] of stores, they could earn $25, $30, $50."

FuelCircle will target multi-channel reward issuers for its collaborative, loyalty platform, officials said.

Retailers pay no upfront cost for the equipment, he said, but there is a nominal issuance fee. Otherwise, it's "pay as you go," with the monthly fee calculated on a per-store basis.

"We've been humbled by the strong support we've received from the oil brands," said Marshall Reavis, CEO for SVM. "As a result of their support, we will be able to launch our new FuelCircle reward and loyalty division with nearly 40,000 fuel redemption locations in our network."

Reavis said that the 40,000 locations represent an estimated 450,000 redemption devices across the network.

Jim Leroux, President of SVM, will continue to be responsible for SVM's core card business and will oversee the newly formed FuelCircle division. Cullen is be responsible for the day-to-day operations and development of the FuelCircle business.

Founded in 1997, SVM provides gift-card solutions for businesses. SVM is headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., a Chicago suburb, and SVM Europe has offices in South Yorkshire and London, England. SVM offers gasoline gift cards from major oil companies, as well as 150 of the nation's most popular retail stores, restaurants, service companies and hotels.


Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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