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Cumberland Farms adds coupons to incentivize mobile payments

Cumberland Farms is taking its mobile application up a notch by integrating rewards into the program to incentivize consumers for paying for gas via their mobile devices.

The gas station chain initially launched a mobile app last year and has since made several updates to the mobile payment program. The rewards program kicked off on Oct. 1 and runs through the end of the year.

“Providing rewards to SmartPay users helps instill loyalty in our customer base in addition to giving them the opportunity to go in-store to try new products and possibly make additional purchases,” said David Heilbronner, senior manager of brand strategy at Cumberland Farms, Framingham, MA.

“SmartPay may be used as an avenue for Cumberland Farms to expand the use of the app and its functionality beyond gasoline purchases,” he said.

Mobile rewards
Cumberland Farms has updated its SmartPay Check-Link program so that the more consumers use the brand’s mobile app, the more rewards they earn.

For example, consumers that buy 30 gallons of gas can receive a free hot or iced coffee drink. App users can also cash in their rewards for a free cold or frozen fountain drink.

The reward coupons are automatically sent to a consumer’s mobile device and can be redeemed by showing the coupon at the point-of-sale.

The coupons are time-sensitive and must be used within 20 minutes of when a consumer clicks to redeem a coupon.

Consumers are automatically enrolled in the program as long as they have already downloaded the app.

Cumberland Farms sent out an email blast to current app users to promote the new feature.

The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Building a mobile powerhouse
Earlier this year, Cumberland Farms more broadly rolled out its SmartPay app so that consumers could save on gas by either linking to a credit card or paying via PayPal. Consumers earn 10 cents off of each gallon when they use their mobile device to fill up (see story).

The mobile app leverages a consumer’s location to detect where the nearest pump is, and consumers can turn on the pump from their phone.

There is also a browser-based version of the program at

Small, utility-based payments remain to be one of the biggest opportunities with mobile, and Cumberland Farms is smart to leverage the technology to build a deeper relationship with consumers around repeat payments.

Cumberland Farms is only one of several different convenience store chains leveraging mobile to lure repeat purchases and build loyalty.

For example, two gas stations in southern California are also piloting the rewards-based Kuapay app that leverages a mobile device’s camera to speed up the checkout process (see story).

Additionally, convenience store chain Spinx revealed plans to launch a mobile payment app this summer (see story).

“The response to our SmartPay program has far exceeded our expectations, we have saved customers $4 million thus far since the launch of SmartPay last February,” Mr. Heilbronner said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York