A fuel dispensing system for providing dual-stage preconditioning and authentication for enhancing a fueling transaction. The system includes a fuel dispenser associated with a control system and a receiver adapted to receive signals, including a first indicia, from a remote communications unit of a customer. The receiver is operatively associated with the control system and enables the control system to retrieve the first indicia and precondition the dispenser for fueling. The control system is adapted to receive second indicia subsequent to receiving the first indicia, and authenticate a transaction involving the remote communications unit by determining the requisite authentication data based on the first indicia and correlating the authentication data with the second indicia. Authentication occurs when the second indicia and the requisite transaction indicia correlate. Various security and encryption techniques may be used when receiving the first and second indicia.