The consumer enters the pump number, the maximum sales amount, debit or credit card, and (if a debit card) the secret personal identification number (PIN).
The gas station microcomputer system checks its data base for negative file (“hot card”) and for independent oil dealer’s authorization information.
Authorization messages are sent to a local area transaction switch which can route the transaction to the independent dealer/company host in the case of credit authorization to a credit authorization network and in the case of a debit transaction to a bank debit card network.
On the average, transactions are authrorized in five seconds. They are returned to the gas station microcomputer system which activates the gas pump.
When the consumer turns off the gas pump, the microcomputer system completes the transaction and prints receipts at the card authorization terminal.
The gas station microcomputer system sends charge/debit data from the last transaction with the current authorization transaction to the local area transaction switch and on to the dealer/company host for purposes of data capture, balancing, clearance, inventory control, etc.
An alternate to complete automation is the single operator maintained convenience store.
Gas pumps are electronically controlled.