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NEW BREED OF 'CATS' LETS YOU FILL YOUR TANK WHILE KEEPING AN EYE ON THE KIDS

 NEW BREED OF 'CATS' LETS YOU FILL YOUR
 TANK WHILE KEEPING AN EYE ON THE KIDS
 FAIRFAX, Va., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- You've just had one hectic afternoon at the mall. What with battling the crowds, worrying about the time, and looking out for the kids, it's been anything but a relaxing shopping trip. Now that you're back in your car, though, you can look on the bright side -- you found the perfect gift for your in-laws, and your exhausted kids are beginning to doze off in the backseat for the ride home.
 But your hurdles aren't over yet, because you still have to stop for gas. When you get to the station, you face a familiar dilemma: you could choose self-serve and save some money, but you'd also have to leave your car and your children unwatched while you're inside paying the cashier. Or you could head for the full-service pumps, stay with your car, and pay a premium price. What would you do?
 Well, that's just what the marketing folks at Mobil Oil wanted to know. After surveying their customers, Mobil found out that neither choice was really acceptable. Not surprisingly, Mobil discovered that their customers want it all -- not having to wait to pay is as desirable as low price and friendly service.
 That's when Mobil brought CATS to the rescue. CATS, short for Customer Activated Terminals, is fancy language for gas pumps equipped with special terminals that let you pump and pay without leaving your car unattended. And you can still fill up with lower-priced self-serve gas.
 Widely implemented by Mobil in mid-1991, the new pay-at-the-pump terminal is easy to operate. To access the system, you can use virtually any major credit card, your own Mobil credit card, or a bank debit/ATM card from most regional bank ATM networks.
 As you insert your card into a special electronic terminal on the gas pump, it reads your card number, sends it to a central computer for authorization, and unlocks the nozzle -- all in a matter of seconds. The terminal screen then prompts you to begin pumping your gas. When you're done, you just hang up the nozzle and the terminal prints you a receipt. The dollar amount of your purchase is automatically charged to your credit card or to your checking account as you choose. Quick and convenient.
 And how are these new terminals catching on with customers? In surveys conducted in areas where the company has installed pay-at-the- pump dispensers, Mobil researchers found that the streamlined gas-buying experience is not only pleasing existing customers, but is attracting a significant number of new customers as well.
 According to Bette Hoyt, Mobil's manager for market and consumer research, pay-at-the-pump is winning over more and more people everyday, because "it's easy-to-use, requires no new skills, slashes the time it takes for customers to get their gas, and keeps lines at pumps short."
 Actual customer comments indicate their appreciation of pay-at-the- pump. As one customer told a market researcher, "I love the automatic credit card terminals. I don't have to go in the store and wait in line while people in front of me pay for their cigarettes."
 Hoyt sums it up. "Pay-at-the-pump terminals are convenient because they save time and keep customers close to their cars where they can keep an eye on their children and valuables. The customer is in control of the situation, making it easier to buy gas and eliminating the feeling of helplessness often experienced when waiting in lines to pay for purchases."
 So you see? There are some times when you can have it all. Now if only the kids would just stay asleep for about 20 more minutes.
 -0- 9/1/92 R
 /CONTACT: John Lord of Mobil, 703-846-2500/ CO: Mobil ST: Virginia IN: OIL SU:


SM -- NYAFNS3R -- 6197 09/03/92 06:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 3, 1992
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