In the US, Sionic Mobile's 'ION' m-commerce platform has been adapted by convenience retail and petroleum technology firm, Pinnacle, to provide a new mobile loyalty and payments platform for fuel retailers. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The combined solution uses Bluetooth beacons inside the store and at pump islands to facilitate cloud-based payments and instant rewards for smartphone consumers.

The Pinnacle-ION system helps convenience stores (c-stores) avoid some of their credit card fees for fuel purchases, and encourages repeat business by providing customers with instant rewards based on in-store checkout amounts.

Using Bluetooth beacons for pump authorisations, customers can quickly and easily pay for fuel with a few taps on their phone handset. Leveraging fully encrypted and tokenised mobile payments, the process is more secure than traditional card swipe methods, protecting both the user and fuel retailer against fraudulent activity.

The beacons can also be used to deliver compelling and relevant promotions to customers, further boosting in-store traffic and driving higher-margin sales.

"Our priority was to deliver tools that can automate the whole spectrum of c-store operations," explained Drew Mize, Pinnacle's chief operating officer. "We were pleased to partner with Sionic Mobile to integrate our Palm POS platform with their mobile payments and loyalty platform."

Consumers can simply download the ION Rewards app (available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android devices), create an account, and then use their smartphones to pay for fuel at the pump. Users then receive an instant US$0.10 per-gallon discount on every fuel purchase at any ION-enabled fuel retailer. ION Rewards users also earn from 1% to 3% in rewards for every in-store, non-fuel purchase.