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Honda and Visa test in-car mobile payment option

Honda and Visa came together during this year’s Consumer Entertainment Expo to showcase some new technology, bringing in-vehicle payments to Honda’s cars.

The partnership also enlisted the help of Gilbarco fuel pumps and IPS parking meters. The tech is only in demo-stages for now but has the potential to expand to a full feature in the future.

“Payments have evolved from physical plastic cards to a digital, mobile wallet and Honda sees this as an opportunity to bring this technology into the car to pay for services from the comfort of one’s own car,” said John Moon, Developer Relations Lead at Honda Developer Studio. “Together with Visa’s payment technology expertise and new partners like Gilbarco Veeder-Root and IPS Group, Inc. who are experts in their fields we can create a whole new in-vehicle experience for our customers focused on simplicity and convenience.”

Mobile payments
Mobile payments, like so many other mobile technologies, have continued to disrupt the way we think about purchasing.

For so long, making purchases relied on cash, check or cards. Now, with mobile payments, we have evolved to make purchases with just the tap of a button.

Honda and Visa are continuing that disruptive trend by making it possible for consumers to make simple purchases for vehicular necessities without even leaving their car thanks to a new in-vehicle mobile payment system.

The system makes use of smart fuel pumps and smart parking meters provided by Gilbarco and IPS, respectively.

Consumers pull up next to a smart pump or meter and their phone detects when they are near it. A display will appear on the dashboard prompting them to confirm a payment with the amount due.

Consumers then need only tap one button to confirm the payment without having to get out of their car or take out a credit card.

The move is an attempt to turn the car into a platform for commerce, continuing the trend of mobile payments making transactions possible anywhere and everywhere.

Smart cars
Connected cars, or any vehicle that can communicate with other smart devices, have already been considered as platforms for commerce in the past, so Honda’s partnership is not without precedent.

But for any brand looking to get into the world of in-car commerce, there are some steps that need to be addressed.

Providing a unique value is one such challenge. How is in-car commerce different than just using an app while sitting in your car, one expert asked earlier this year (see story).

Additionally, like with any new technology, a main consumer concern will be security, as it was with another recent Honda partnership with Waymo (see story).

Until those questions can be answered, and until Honda and Visa debut this new tech for customer use, the potential for in-car commerce will remain open.

“Turning the car into a platform for payments offers a nearly endless array of ways for automakers, drivers, merchants and other infrastructure companies to completely transform tasks that are tied to cars in some shape or form,” said Avin Arumugam, senior vice president, Internet of things (IoT), Visa Inc. “Working with Honda, we both see the huge opportunity this presents for our respective industries, and how we can collectively simplify many daily tasks from the car.”