The petroleum vertical market, although gas stations are situated strategically across the map, nevertheless is a relatively narrow market requiring significant and specific support from the processor.
When discussing this market, one typically thinks of the major gas fuel companies such as BP, Texaco, Shell, and Speedway. Companies such as these keep captive their locations – the right for a franchisee to make changes to their payment processing relationships are regulated. Businesses who use wholesale companies may not have this restriction.
Furthermore, many gas stations and convenience stores require pay at the pump capabilities, and that too may not be offered by every processor.
Businesses within this market are typically divided into those who are serviced by national accounts, businesses that require pay at the pump functionality, and finally, a catch all group we call miscellaneous petroleum that covers local suppliers of products and services such as propane suppliers, etc.
- National account petroleum refers to your hi profile organizations such as BP, Shell, Texaco, etc. These accounts are extremely challenging to secure much less service.
- Pay at the Pump petroleum refers to what the name describes – anyone that requires pay at the pump payment processing solutions. Yes, many are already listed as a national account interest but not ALL merchants are national accounts. One interesting opportunity is for an agent to align with the VAR that services the pumps, perhaps striking up a partnership with the VAR and establishing them as a reseller relationship. Thus, the VAR makes money selling and servicing the pumps and also receives a portion of the residuals if processing is handled through the processor (confirm your processor handles pay at the pump).
- Miscellaneous petroleum is a catch all phrase dealing with any petroleum company NOT specifically aligned with either a National Account or a Pay at the Pump scenario. Surprisingly, there are several vertical markets that fall within this category.
There are thousands of businesses that fall within this vertical market, with tens of thousands of locations when considered in mass.
Establishing a relationship with an association, a VAR, or advertising through trade magazines are all legitimate means to gain transaction into this highly competitive market.