BP Announces New Loyalty Software Deployment Initiative

Would facilitate price rollback functionality, other offers

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- BP this month began briefing branded jobbers and franchisees on a new point-of-sale (POS) enhancement initiative that will lay the foundation for future branded card and loyalty offers. BP is providing branded marketers with details of its loyalty strategy, potential benefits and plans for software deployment through a series of regional meetings from mid-April through mid-May, the company said.

With the new POS enhancement, BP envisions future card offers that allow consumers to redeem cents-off-per-gallon rewards immediately at the pump with the simple [image-nocss] swipe of a card when purchasing fuel at BP. For example, a consumer using a BP-branded credit card could redeem previously accumulated rewards instantly at the pump. A cardmember could use rewards to pay for a portion of the posted price, up to 20, 40, 80 or more cents per gallon. This is referred to by some in the industry as price rollback functionality. Approved grocer loyalty programs could also use BP's price rollback functionality to reward loyal grocery customers with cents-off-per-gallon fuel rewards.

BP expects these initiatives to increase the number of BP cardmembers and increase consumer loyalty, it said.

"While final card offers and loyalty program partners are still pending, the demand for price rollback functionality warrants beginning the brand-wide deployment process now," said David VanWiggeren, manager of card marketing. "BP is encouraging its branded marketers to attend the regional meetings, review all price rollback materials and take advantage of BP's price rollback deployment initiative."

BP's research shows that consumers are attracted to cents-off-per-gallon fuel rewards because they closely follow retail fuel prices and value the convenience of redeeming instantly at the pump.

The company will fund and support a large-scale software deployment effort for qualified BP branded marketers. The deployment effort begins with BP-branded marketers signing a contract to allow POS software upgrades at their sites. BP has set a Sept. 30, 2009 deadline for the contracts to be in place if marketers wish to participate in the deployment.

For sites with BP price rollback compatible POS devices, which represent the majority of BP branded sites today, no new hardware is required because BP's existing electronic payment server (EPS) and communications technology (Commlinx), serves as a standardize platform to enable price rollback functionality.

BP is conducting due diligence to determine if there are any states or local regulations that may limit or alter this initiative, future card offers or programs.

To qualify for the BP price rollback deployment initiative, BP sites must have three or more dispensers and compatible POS devices. Compatible POS devices include: Verifone Ruby; Verifone Sapphire; Verifone Topaz; Gilbarco Passport; Wayne Nucleus; and Retalix Store Point.

Gilbarco G-site POS devices are approaching end of life and not compatible with the new program. To encourage BP-branded marketers to replace G-site POS devices with next generation POS devices, BP is offering up to $3,000 per site through its G-site Sunset Incentive. For sites that have replaced or will replace a G-site device with an incentive POS device between June 30, 2008 and March 31, 2010, BP will pay $1,000 per new POS terminal installed, with a maximum of up to three terminals.

Updating the EPS system will involve BP remotely downloading a new version of EPS software to participating marketers' sites and a technician visit to upgrade the site's POS software, the company said.