Here's How to Beat Fuel Price Hikes | OneMega.com
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Here’s How to Beat Fuel Price Hikes

Here’s How to Beat Fuel Price Hikes

Business & Career | March 15, 2022
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Amid rising oil prices, this app protects you against inflation by letting you buy and store fuel ahead of time. Here’s how it works.

Whether through word of mouth, Viber group messages, or someone who knows someone from somewhere, news about rising gas prices is enough to cause car owners and motorists to panic. And so, in a flurry to gas up—just before the price per liter goes up—gas stations are packed with lines of cars, motorcycles… you name it!

But what if we told you that there’s a way to buy fuel when it’s low and load it into your car later? Sounds too good to be true? PriceLOCQ makes it possible.

How it Works

A mobile app developed by founder and Seaoil executive Mark Yu, PriceLOCQ is a platform that allows consumers and fleet managers to buy fuel when they want—usually when prices are low. The fuel is then stored both physically and digitally, which you can redeem easily in any participating Seaoil gas station.

PriceLOCQ uses the concept of fuel hedging—defined as “a strategy some companies use to reduce or eliminate their exposure to volatile and potentially rising fuel costs.” It works by adding a cap on fuel prices at a certain level and for a specific period of time. This helps offset the risk of unstable fuel prices, caused by an unpredictable and volatile oil market. Likewise, it works for different fuel types: diesel, gasoline, or any other refined product.

While the app was launched mid-2020—during the height of the pandemic, no less—the need for it grew amid the recent oil price inflations following the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. “We are democratizing the ability for people to buy fuel when they want—that’s the main element,” he shares in an interview with Business Mirror.

“Last Monday, a day before the price increase, the daily sales that we had was 2.5 times our February sale,” he adds. “We want to be able to cushion the effect of the rising fuel costs by allowing people to buy at a lower price.”

To date, PriceLOCQ allows users to store up to 600 liters of gas digitally. Plus, it’s currently available in almost 300 Seaoil retail outlets.

Future Plans and Goals

Admittedly, prepaid gas was not the initial business idea that Yu had in mind. In fact, he initially thought of a digital token based on oil, given that blockchain was fast becoming popular in the Philippines. “The idea of oil tokens evolved to providing something that will really benefit the end consumers. We want to empower each individual to participate in the energy market,” he explains.

But while PriceLOCQ only covers Seaoil users, Yu plans to expand his app further by including other fuel companies, too. “In areas where Seaoil is not present, we want to be present there as well. Hence, we are open and in talks with other players as well,” he adds.

Moreover, Yu plans to transform PriceLOCQ into something more than just a platform for purchasing prepaid gas. Setting his sights to more options down the road, he wants to create an “ecosystem of mobility solutions that help bring people from Point A to Point B more efficiently.”

How? Through partnerships with RFID companies, parking solutions, insurance, and car servicing, among others. “The long-term vision is to transform PriceLOCQ into a platform for mobility—anything and everything that has to do with people being mobile,” he ends.

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