Chevron to Test Google Wallet

Announces soft launch at West Coast stations

Carole Donoghue, Petroleum Editor

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. will take part in what the refiner said is a "soft launch" in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets of the Google Wallet, a mobile payment application that allows consumers to use their Android smart phones as a payment device. More than 600 stations will be involved in the test, a spokesperson said in an e-mail to CSP Daily News.

The Google system can be used at stations equipped with contactless credit-card readers (NFC-enabled) inside the store, just like any other contactless card transaction, Chevron said. Only two payment options are being supported during the launch period, the Citibank-issued MasterCard credit card and the Google prepaid card.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based major oil company will charge marketers its regular card transaction fees for sales on the Google system and is promising to send out signage and other pint-of-purchase (POP) material to stations before year's end.

Although Chevron is only promoting the soft launch on the West Coast, the company has told marketers that all stores with contactless card readers will be able to accept Google Wallet for payment.

Chevron said its participation in the soft launch will allow it to gain first-hand experience with mobile payments, giving it opportunity "to assess the value of future participation in the program."

Google and Chevron have strong synergies as premium brands and leaders in adopting emerging technologies, said spokesperson Sean Comey.