The other key component of this landscape is the retailer. The big oil companies sold off their physical stores and generally license their brand to the merchants that really own the stores making them use their payments systems to process credit card payments so they can take their cut to pay for the gas before the merchants gets theirs. This also allows them cream off all the profits further upstream, leaving the poor old merchants running on razor thin margins, responsible for keeping us, the general public as happy as they can with minimum wage workers, selling a commodity product. What a nightmare of a business that is. The consequences of this are that on one hand, the small merchants who make up the bulk of the industry are hungry for differentiation but don’t have a lot of resources to work with.