Unmanned breathes new life into remote forecourts

by 08 March 2019

Access to a local filling station is vital for those living in or travelling through remote areas, where the nearest major convenience store can be tens or even hundreds of miles away.

But as costs associated with managing and maintaining these forecourts continue to rise, more and more are sadly closing, leaving owners with an expensive asset unable to generate a return, and the local community losing access to a critical service as a result.

However, a growing trend in unmanned filling stations is resurrecting mothballed sites and breathing new life into communities that had started to feel cut off.

What are unmanned filling stations?

The name says it all. An unmanned filling station is just like any other, only without the need for full time staff. Fully automated, pumps are operational 24/7, with payments taken via outside terminals or mobile payment apps.

The result is a manageable and cost-effective solution for site owners, maintaining a convenient and accessible filling station for the local community – it’s a real win-win for all involved.

Increasingly, site owners are choosing to keep their valuable freehold and lease back their facilities to the major fuel providers, ensuring any existing ancillary business operating on site can remain open as usual, uninterrupted and benefiting from the knock-on effect of running next to a busy fuel stop.

TLM’s technology makes it possible

Unmanned forecourts are naturally heavily dependent on technology, and harnessing the right tools is key, especially those that enable fuel to be dispensed and more importantly paid for.

TLM can provide outside payment terminals and intuitive mobile payment apps that make unmanned filling stations possible, providing quick and easy payment options for customers increasingly familiar with automated and mobile payment services.

Integration is easy, with payment facilities pushing transactions straight to the cloud, so there’s no need for any complicated back office software – just simple, hassle-free fuel purchases.

What does the future hold?

With a sound financial model, support from local communities and effective payment options designed for the modern motorist, it’s not hard to see why the future of fuel in many remote locations is unmanned.

Whilst already prominent in sparsely populated rural areas such as Scotland, North Wales and Scandinavia, the success of these sites is creating a growing trend, with an increasing number of fuel providers keen to take advantage.

Interested in learning more?

To learn more about unmanned filling stations and the mobile payment solutions available from TLM, as well as details on the rest of our extensive product portfolio, please speak to one of the team.

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