#Pay by Car: A Truly “Mobile” Experience

Car-based commerce via the connected car may be the next thing in the world of mobile payments. Like mobile wallets, the key to success is to create a purchase experience that’s truly easier and time-saving for consumers.

New technology that is quite literally mobile has been getting a lot of press lately. Self-driving cars consistently make headlines as they are tested and refined. “Connected cars” also receive frequent coverage.

The phrase “connected car” refers to vehicles that have Internet connectivity and/or a local area wireless network. With consumers’ increased interest in network connection, this innovation may be well timed. Already, experts are predicting 250 million of these vehicles will be on the road by 2020.

Being able to quickly access the Internet is not the only allure connected cars hold for consumers. These vehicles are also paving the way for consumers to pay for services such as parking, tolls and fuel without leaving their vehicles.

A recent Money20/20 conference I attended in Las Vegas deemed “contextual commerce” a hot topic. Contextual commerce refers to the concept of merchants seamlessly implementing purchase opportunities into everyday activities. This allows consumers to make purchases anytime, anywhere with the click of a button. Paying by car is a potential way to give consumers more context in purchases. It’s the idea that if I’m in my car and running late, ordering a pizza for dinner can save me time.

Honda and Ford are even getting on board with connected car technology. During the 2016 Mobile World Congress, Honda unveiled its partnership with Visa Checkout to make paying by car a reality. Ford is working to integrate payment technology into their existing FordPass offering. 

Even Visa is exploring the connected car concept. Last year, they collaborated with Pizza Hut to implement technology allowing drivers to order pizza via their vehicles’ dashboards. The functionality would include payment apps within the vehicle’s infotainment system and tokenization for security.