They appear to have huge growth potential. Global specialist adviser Analysys Mason predicts that the number of connected vehicles will grow to over 150 million this year, and that 89 per cent of new cars will include embedded connectivity by 2024.

These look set to facilitate easier payments.

What if a quick shopping run no longer meant getting out of the car? That you could pay for purchases from your dashboard and pick them up from the pavement? What if your car was transformed into a payment method?

Visa is working on just this as part of its Internet of Things program. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March last year, it showcased how in-car payments could simplify ordering food at a quick service restaurant. Since then, it’s also demonstrated how its technology can simplify the process of leasing or buying a car or managing car insurance from the driver’s seat.

Visa’s technological advancements include new standards for Bluetooth and QR codes and the Visa Token Service which replaces sensitive account details with a token in order to reduce fraud. Visa believes these can be applied to many other, everyday consumer purchases and that over time, they will be able to learn patterns and behaviours, becoming more valuable to users.
“The notion of transforming a car into a platform for payments is not as far off as some may think and we have made a great deal of progress since first introducing the idea one year ago”
“The notion of transforming a car into a platform for payments is not as far off as some may think and we have made a great deal of progress since first introducing the idea one year ago,” says Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa Inc. “Working with Honda to test these prototypes gets us another step closer toward commercial reality, which we think provides exciting opportunities to everyone who plays a role in the payments and automotive ecosystems.”

Apps that are road-ready

In November, Honda also launched the Honda Developer Studio, an online portal and open innovation workspace in Silicon Valley where developers can work directly with its engineers to create apps that are road-ready more quickly. It will allow developers to test their Android Auto apps in a prototype vehicle environment and to collaborate with Honda R&D teams.

There’s also plenty of activity happening elsewhere.

Expecting almost everything to become a commerce device, for example, Visa’s rival MasterCard has teamed up with General Motors to create a key fob – a type of security token with built-in authentication mechanisms.

And software developer Luxoft Holding has unveiled connected car peer-to-peer payment technology. Seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment system and originally built for the financial services sector, it allows drivers to make purchases, transfers and perform other routine financial transactions, in real time, from the vehicle and, in some cases, without even stopping it.

Parking payment technology

Similarly, Dutch group NXP Semiconductors has been developing a connected car that uses long-range ultra-high radio-frequency identification tags and near field communications (NFC) to help drivers pay for restricted parking spaces, fuel or drive-in food after they have placed their smartphones in a wireless charging pad at the front of their cars.

And the Ford Motor Company is rolling out new features on its FordPass platform that allow drivers to remotely pay for parking and settle their Ford Credit bills.

These types of developments, combined with the driverless car, seem to signal more productive time spent in the car and traffic jams. Perhaps in the future we won’t even have to get into our vehicles to get everything done!
This article represents the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BPAY.
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