Shuffle the Deck or Fold: Your Margin Depends on it

Written on: July 18, 2022 by Larry Richmond

Save 11 to 15 cents per gallon on a significant piece of your business

For the past couple of years, I have been advising fuel industry members that the payments landscape is constantly changing and a solid strategy to address these variables is an absolute necessity.

With fuel product now costing more than ever, I cannot stress enough how imperative it is that you have a good strategy in place, as it could literally tip the scales one way or the other.

Based on the data, it is obvious that fuel retailers need to proactively do everything in their power to take advantage of the “more-friendly” payment options, while steering clear of the cost-prohibitive, less friendly ones.

Just sitting there and taking it will destroy your margin and devalue the business. However, if you choose to be proactive and invest nominal time and energy, the dividends are significant and will compound themselves over time, helping “compress” those fees even more.

You have options, but you must take action today as inaction will silently creep up and blindside you.

Retailers need to make the time to properly address this significant line item as it directly affects your bottom line and touches a huge percentage of companies’ overall sales.

Visa Credit and the majority of Amex transactions are costing roughly FIVE TIMES more than the other more friendly (in terms of fees) payment options. (See Table)

Yes, to be clear both Visa Credit and Amex are eating your profits the way Pacman eats dots.

You can avoid that 1-15 cents per gallon equivalent on most Visa Credit and American Express (Amex) transactions.

• Migrating from Visa Credit to Echeck: saves 13.7 cents per gallon over Visa Credit
• Migrating from Visa Credit to debit card: saves 11.4 cents per gallon over Visa Credit
• Migrating from Amex to Echeck: saves 15.5 cents per gallon over Amex
• Migrating from Amex to debit: saves 13.2 cents per gallon over Amex

That’s significant, especially when you consider that these two-payment methods account for 30—40% of fuel dealers overall electronic payments. ICM

Contact Larry at 617-843-5700 x200 or at

Join me at the Northeast Propane Show (August 10 & 11, 2022), ( and at the HEAT Show, September 13-15, 2021 ( where I will be talking about this further and the importance of data portability.
On August 23, 2022, please join me for a 30-minute, complimentary webinar session focused on ideas and strategies around shedding pennies per gallon resulting in significant overall card fee reductions. To register, please email to reserve your seat.