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South Florida tech company develops type of payment to protect at the pump

App lets consumers pay for gas using cellphone

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Recently, Local 10 News investigative reporter Christina Vazquez reported about gas station skimming operations that steal credit and debit card information.

Detectives recommended paying in cash or handing the credit card directly to the cashier to avoid the fuel pump skimmers.

Now, Zipline, a South Florida payment technology company, said it has developed a new type of payment system to protect consumers at the pump.

Zipline CEO Danilo Portal showed Local 10 News how the technology works at a South Florida gas station.

"I'm going to swipe it," Portal said, while inserting a magnetized plastic card into a gas pump card reader. "I'm going to get my token. It says enter PIN, so I enter this PIN."

The Mobile Enabler App and card, known as ME, lets consumers pay for gas using their cellphone. It generates a unique token or PIN for each purchase and then sends a confirmation email to the account holder.

The company hopes major oil companies will adopt the technology to both protect information and offer rewards, similar to a loyalty card.

"Swiping a debit card at the pump is the worst thing you can do," Portal said.

Earlier this month, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced the filing of legislation intended to help protect Floridians and visitors from skimmers, devices that steal credit card information, at gas pumps to help combat fraud at gas stations.

Sen. Anitere Flores and Rep. Dana Young are sponsoring legislation in the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives.

According to Putnam, the number of consumers victimized by each skimmer varies between 100 and 5,000, with an average of $1,000 stolen from each victim. Each skimmer represents a $100,000 to $5 million threat to the state of Florida and its consumers.

Click here to read the full news release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Follow Christina Vazquez on Twitter @CallChristinaTV

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