With the advent of mobile technology, there are more ways to pay at the store now than ever before. Walmart and Sam’s Club have been leading the way with their Sam's Club Scan & Go and Walmart Pay features, giving their shoppers new fast, contactless, convenient ways to checkout in their stores.
And they continue to roll out even more new conveniences for their shoppers. A couple months ago, Sam’s Club announced that their members can now use their Scan & Go mobile app feature to pay for gas at their fuel centers. The feature is now available at 70 Sam’s Club gas stations across the country, and there are plans to roll it out at all 518 stations by the end of the year.
While the Scan & Go system is great for shopping in stores since it lets you skip the checkout lane, does it really make the gas pumping experience any better than just paying with your credit card? We gave it a shot at our local Sam’s Club to find out.
The first thing we noticed is that when you pull up to a Sam’s Club fuel pump, there is already a QR code sitting on the screen. If you choose to use the Scan & Go Fuel feature, simply take out your Sam’s Club mobile app and tap on the Scan & Go feature. Scan the QR code on the screen just as you would a barcode on a product in the store.
The app will automatically know you’re paying for gas and ask you to confirm your pump number.
You’ll then be asked to select your fuel grade and pump your gas. When you’re done filling up, instead of the pump asking if you would like to print a receipt, the pump will tell you your receipt is available in the app. Your mobile app will also tell you “you’re ready to roll” and send you a push notification with your total. As with your in-store Scan & Go purchases, your receipts are always stored in the Sam’s Club mobile app.
So is it worth it to pay for gas with Scan & Go? Here are some of the benefits we noticed:
The main benefit to using Scan & Go at the pump, and likely the primary reason for its debut this year during the pandemic, is that it greatly cuts down on your need to touch and interact with the fuel pump. In fact, because you don’t have to select your payment method, verify your credit card with a PIN/Zip code on the keypad, or decide if you want a receipt, you don’t actually have to touch the screen or keypad at all. The QR code is already waiting for you on the screen when you pull up. Your interaction with the physical fuel pump is limited to tapping the button for your fuel grade (for which you can use your elbow if you prefer) and picking up the handle.
The typical trade-off to getting cheap gas at Sam’s Club is that it tends to be a little slower than paying at a regular gas station. That’s because you have to perform the additional step of scanning your membership card before you can even enter your payment card. By using Scan & Go, you get to entirely skip scanning your membership card and scanning/verifying your credit card. Just a few moments after scanning the QR code, you’re ready to start filling up.
If you want a convenient way to help your teenage or college-age kids pay for gas, consider setting up Sam’s Club Scan & Go on their phone with your account. Having Scan & Go on their smartphone eliminates your having to give them cash or lend them a credit card when they need to fill up. Plus, they can get the cheap gas at Sam’s Club without having to have your physical membership card.
Do you like getting a receipt from the gas pump, just to make sure your payment is complete? With Scan & Go, your receipts live in your mobile app. You don’t need to fumble with a paper receipt that’ll just clutter up your car or be thrown away in a few days.