Current and anticipated retail technologies are speeding up convenience-store checkout lines while providing additional bonuses.

Simplicity is at the center of a frictionless retail experience: The fewer barriers between your customer and what they want, the better.

But for many convenience-store operators, including those operating gas stations, “friction-free” poses challenges. Besides getting over the tech learning curve, it takes time and money for owners to install and maintain digital equipment across multiple locations.

So how can you create a consumer-centered experience without becoming tech gurus? Consider these up-to-the-minute strategies for reducing long lines, easing purchases at the pump, and creating happier, more loyal customers.

  1. Loyalty software programs can collect data on your customers’ purchases and incent them to shop more. With the rise of “big data” tools, you can use a loyalty program to collect more information than ever on customers’ shopping habits. For example, you can personalize marketing, messaging, and rewards based on an individual shopper’s buying patterns, including how often they buy gas and what they usually purchase.1 If a group of weekly ice-cream customers starts to wander, for example, your well-planned loyalty program can win them back with a special discount offer.
  2. Digital payments let shoppers pay with their smartphones in store and at the pump, avoiding the hassles of taking out cash or a debit/credit card. The shopper calls up their digital wallet or payment app so a point-of-sale device can scan their code.1 This purchase method is on the rise: payment-app sales reached $7.8 billion in 2012 and are forecasted to reach $175.4 billion in 2022.2 Find out more about how M&T can help merchants work more easily with customers using payment apps.
  3. Mobile take-out ordering lets customers order and pay for items via their smartphone for pickup so they can skip the line. Experts say that stores offering this option win increased customer loyalty and sales volume. Taco Bell, for example, sees the average order increase by 30% from apps vs. in-store orders.3 Sales via mobile ordering apps are expected to hit $38 billion in 2020.3
  4. Automated age-verification is a forthcoming technology that will be able to confirm that your customer is old enough for age-restricted products such as tobacco and alcohol. The systems will be able to store proof-of-age information on a data company’s remote database, allowing automatic age verification of the purchaser’s age during checkout. This simplified process can encourage customer loyalty.1

Partner Up

A well-chosen retail technology partner can manage the implementation of one or all of these tech solutions. Look for a vendor with specific expertise in convenience-store operations—and the scope to provide several integrated solutions. However, if you opt to go with multiple technology partners, request demonstrated proof of integration experience.

With so many options available for consumers, removing any hurdles that stand in between them and their purchases will help your convenience stores and gas stations compete with the most technologically advanced market newcomers. The above tech solutions are being implemented now—or will be soon—by owners and operators nationwide.1 To best compete in the current market, consider which of these technologies are the best fit for your locations.

Learn More

Contact M&T Bank Merchant Services to help you find the payment technologies and services that work best for your business and its customers. Call 1-800-724-2240 or visit us online.


This article is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.


Share this page

If you are interested in sending this page to a friend or relative, please enter the following:

* Indicates required fields
+ Add another

No personal information (including e-mail addresses) about you or your friend will be collected from this e-mail notification feature offered by M&T Bank.

Please Note:

By clicking "ok" below, you will leave and enter a Third-Party Website.

Tenga en cuenta que:

Al hacer clic en “Aceptar”, abandonará e ingresará en el sitio web de un tercero.

Please note that:

  • The Third-Party Website is governed by a different set of terms and conditions and privacy policy than and you should review those terms, conditions and privacy policy prior to reviewing the content of the Third-Party Website
  • M&T is providing a link to the Third-Party Website as a convenience and does not necessarily control the content of, or endorse, the Third-Party Website, it's owner/operator or any information, products or services that are made available on or through it
  • M&T makes no representations or warranties regarding the information, products or services provided through the Third-Party Website

Such Third-Party Website's owner/operator may be regulated by governmental entities and laws that are different than those that regulate M&T.

Tenga en cuenta que:

  • El sitio web de un tercero está regido por un conjunto de términos y condiciones y una política de privacidad diferentes que, por lo tanto, deberá revisar esos términos y condiciones y la política de privacidad antes de evaluar el contenido del sitio web de un tercero
  • M&T le proporciona un enlace al sitio web de un tercero para su comodidad y no necesariamente tiene control sobre el contenido, o se adhiere, al sitio web del tercero, su propietario/operador o ni a ninguna parte de la información, producto o servicio que se ofrezca a través de él
  • M&T no ofrece declaraciones ni garantías respecto de la información, productos o servicios prestados a través del sitio web de un tercero

El propietario/operador de ese sitio web de un tercero podría estar regulado por entidades gubernamentales o leyes que son diferentes a aquellos por los que está regulado M&T.