How does the payment process work with PACE: Why are some amounts shown twice?
Thanks to PACE Drive, users can benefit from several advantages. Not only do they save time when refueling, but they can also stay close to their car, and motorcyclists don’t have to take off their helmet.
The app is very easy to use: It displays surrounding gas stations on a map, marks those where payment via PACE Drive is possible with the smartphone or smartwatch, and then guides the user through the payment process. All you need to do is select the gas pump and then confirm the payment with a click after completing the refueling.
Users can choose between different payment methods. In rare cases, several transactions are later shown in the account. We explain why this might happen.
In principle, the whole thing is pretty simple: There are two different models for payments. The most classic is immediate payment – known as post-pay. You receive the goods and pay immediately. If the goods cost 50 €, for example, this amount is then paid immediately by direct debit or in cash to the seller.
The second variant used at PACE Drive, depending on the gas station, is the pre-auth process. A certain amount is reserved on the account, the car can be filled up, and the actually used amount is deducted from the customer’s account afterwards. The reserved amount is subsequently cleared again.
In most countries, especially in the USA, this procedure is standard. In Germany, it is common to fill up first and then pay at the pump in the gas station store or via the app. This procedure is then called post-pay.
Nevertheless, more and more gas stations are switching to the Pre-Auth principle as well. The advantage of this is that the gas station has a guarantee that it will receive the amount before the customer fills up – so fuel is only available if the payment can be made. Thus, a pre-authorization takes place at the gas pump.
Differences between banks
In concrete terms, this means that the authorized amount for the refueling is reserved at the customer’s bank. Only when one has finished refueling does the bank receive notification of how much money was actually spent and only this amount is then deducted from the bank account. Several days can pass before the reservation is cancelled, and the time varies depending on the bank. Also, how detailed this process can be seen on one’s bank account varies from bank to bank. With some banks, only a reservation is shown, with some you see the reservation and then the repayment of the difference of PACE.
If there are problems with mobile payments with the app and it has been restarted several times and several payment processes have been authorized, the bank will also reserve the previously indicated amount each time. Of course, you will get the reserved amounts back again, but even in such a situation only the bank can influence when the amount will be released again.
Short note: If you pay with Pre-Auth via PACE Drive and therefore must reserve an amount before refueling, PACE automatically suggests an amount of 120 €. Of course, this can be changed at any time if it is already clear in advance that you will refuel for much less.
It is important to understand that PACE needs to be able to guarantee the gas station that it will receive its money for the refueling, as well as the bank must guarantee PACE that as well. Of course, in the end, PACE will only charge the amount for which the car has been refueled.