If you have a Shell petrol station near you, the chances are you will have a whole new fuel payment option available to you later this year.

Based on a report in The Telegraph, the new system will use the PayPal payment app, and will be first rolled out to members of Shell’s “Driver’s Club” scheme from April this year. By the end of the year, paying by mobile should be an option to all customers at “the majority” of Shell’s 1000 forecourts, via the PayPal app or Shell’s own “Motorist” app.

The idea is that the system will reduce queues by allowing customers to pay without having to go into the petrol station (unless, of course, they wish to buy additional items).

One question that does occur, and one that’s not mentioned in the report, is that petrol stations generally request that customers don’t use their mobile phones on the forecourt for safety reasons. Quite how this will be handled remains to be seen!

Payment via PayPal’s app is already available at over 8000 shops and restaurants in the UK, including such chains as Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wagamama. Orders are paid for “up front” and then a receipt is emailed when the transaction is complete.

Time will tell whether this modern payment method will catch on, but in a society where people do more and more with their smartphones, there are sure to be plenty of tech enthusiasts keen to try it out.

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