Tanking up at gas stations in the UAE will get easier from tomorrow, thanks to radio-frequency identification tags.
With the help of a new automated, paperless system, drivers simply motor up to the service station, refuel with the help of an attendant and drive off. There’s no need to pay on site, or even waste time trying to decide between Special, Super and Whathaveyou.
The service, called Vehicle Identification Pass, or ViP, has been rolled out to 112 gas stations run by the Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), and is available at all Enoc and Eppco stations.
ViP uses an innovative technology which consists of a securely encoded electronic security tag mounted near the gas tanks. This allows the nozzle to automatically recognise individuals’ fuelling preferences, calculate the amount of fuel dispenses, and deduct the money automatically from the specific ViP account. This speeds up the refuelling process and lets customers easily manage their accounts and set budgets for each fuelling transaction.
“The ViP offering is an outcome of our commitment to advancing the Dubai Government’s Smart City initiative. Innovation lies at the core of all our offerings which eventually is aimed at enhancing customer experience and satisfaction,” says Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO of Enoc.
The ViP system uses radio-frequency to log in the details of the purchase at a secured database at Enoc. This then accesses the parameters associated with the customer account.
All 112 gas stations on the network have a one-stop shop where customers can buy the ViP smart tag and have it installed on their cars. Customers must present their Emirates ID or passport copy, and the car’s registration card. Each package costs Dh250/unit. Customers can set up as many personal vehicles per account as they want, thus enabling large families or individuals with multiple vehicles to better manage their fuel budgets.
After each transaction, customers receive an SMS and an email with the amount deducted and the remaining balance in their accounts. In addition, registered customers have access to a dedicated portal. Here, they can access their information in real time manage fuel budgets and top up their accounts. Top-ups can also be made with cash or card at all convenience stores in service stations.
“Since we launched ViP for corporate customers two years ago, over 75,000 commercial vehicles, including 8,000 taxis, were able to benefit from this technology. Over 3,000 of our commercial customers were able to save four to six per cent annually on their fuel expenses and reduce waiting time at the stations, thus increasing their operational efficiency,” says Burhan Al Hashemi, Managing Director, Enoc Retail. “By extending this service to the general public, we are passing on the benefits of this technology, which are real and time-tested. We hope ViP also becomes a unique tool for people to plan their budgets.”
The next step is the launch of the Enocpay mobile app, which will aggregate all current and future payment methods into a single interface. It is expected to be available on iOS and Android phones by Q4 2016.