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PAY AT THE PUMP: OIL COMPANY'S WAVE OF THE FUTURE

* Filling up the tank is becoming faster and easier. Mobil Corporation says it plans to install electronic payment systems at about 2,000 of its stations by the end of the year. The electronic terminals, which allow customers to fill up their tanks and pay for their gas at a self-serve pump, will increase stations' sales volumes by 5 to 10 percent, Mobil says.

A company survey shows that the pay-at-the-pump process cuts the time of gasoline purchase by half. "Motorists see the purchase of gasoline as an interruption," says Steve Pryor, vice president for US fuels marketing. "They want to get in and out of a station quickly. Pay-at-the-pump meets this need better than anything."

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