Petrol stations in the UAE will soon shift to automated payment system. This will significantly reduce the need of manpower in both payment collection and filling process as well as totally eliminate fraud.
Intelligent fuel management system is being tried out at an Enoc station in Dubai. The system will be rolled out across the UAE after plugging in the drawbacks.
Speaking to 'Emirates 24|7', an IT consultant said: “We are the systems local integrator and it involves not only fuel stations and their head offices, but banks through which payments will be routed.
The role of a fuel station attendant would be minimum and the drivers have the option of using their services. Once the vehicle enters the parking slot near the vending machine, a transponder or sensor will automatically read the vehicle name, type and other details and motorists will have the option of using smart cards at fuel stations. We are working with Adnoc to introduce the same automated payment system and after sometime the system will be modified by each fuel marketing company in the UAE,” he said.
A senior manager of Enoc/Eppco said: “We have already started a trial run of the new automated fuel dispensing system at the Enoc station opposite Al Wasl Hospital. Depending on the success of the trial run, the systems will be installed in other Enoc/Eppco stations."
“The system is installed at our site, but it is not yet fully operational. It will take some more time for it to be fully functional," said a manager of an Eppco station in Al Qouz.
He added that the new hi-tech system will considerably reduce fraud.
This will end the practise of some drivers cheating their companies of fuel allowances, he said.
There have been cases of fuel station staff too involved in fraudulent activities, when customers using company fuel cards have raised an alarm of huge difference in the amount of petrol dispensed and the bill given.
A fuel station attendant at Eppco, who recently resigned from his job, said: “I used to make Dh200 per day extra through such adjustments. This is in addition to my poor salary of Dh1,200 per month. The company drivers who are also paid low salaries would get a bill of Dh400, and fill only for Dh200. The fuel station attendance would get 30 per cent of the amount, that is Dh60 per transaction, and the balance is pocketed by the driver."
Yet another fuel station staff, who recently resigned, said: "It is too hot in summer and there is no chance for me to make extra bucks, now that the new automated payment system is in place. Once the system is operational, our additional revenue flow will automatically stop and Dh1,200 per month is not enough to cover my cost of living in the UAE.”
“Eighty per cent of the company vehicles coming in the petrol stations for fuel use payment cards for payment and drivers have invented ways to cheat their own companies with the help of petrol station attendants,” said the source.
It may be recalled that sometime back about 45 fuel station attendants were terminated, after caught in illegal act.
According to fuel station managers, several employees have resigned from their jobs. While some of them blamed the rising summer heat, others fear the new automated payment system.
In the Middle East, only Turkey has all of its 2,500 fuel stations fully automated.
In fact, Adnoc recently advertised posts of project managers for the fully automated self-service system.