In-Car Payment: Alexa to Pay for Fuel

FACTS

  • During the CES 2020, Amazon announced a strategic partnership with ExxonMobil and Fiserv.
  • Goal: enable customers to rely on their voice-based assistant (Alexa) to pay for fuel at gas stations.
  • Alexa is currently available in different car models from 25 brands, including Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Seat, Chevrolet, Chrysler and Lexus.
  • How it works.
    • At the gas station, drivers simply say “Alexa, pay for gas”.
    • Alexa asks to confirm the station location and the pump number.
    • Fiserv’s technology activates the pump before generating a token to secure the payment.
    • Once the tank filled, the payment is processed via Amazon Pay. This wallet relies on payment methods stored beforehand to the driver’s Amazon account for this process.
  • This new feature leverages Fiserv’s technologies, and should be rolled out starting in April 2020 in roughly 11,500 Exxon stations across the US.

CHALLENGES

  • Strategic challenge for Amazon. This rollout is an opportunity for Amazon to further increase their voice-based assistant’s use level in day-to-day transactional contexts: a way to make it indispensable. Amazon also made several announcements in September 2019: different products have been equipped.
  • Security at stake for Exxon. This partnership might help the oil and gas company secure payments at their gas stations, still at risk of being hit by card skimming fraud. With Amazon Pay, customers no longer have to pull out their payment cards. They can also implement a voice-activated code for carrying out transactions.

MARKET PERSPECTIVE

  • Amazon intends to boost their wallet’s adoption and reach. With these goals in mind, they secured multiple partnerships including with Aviva.
  • ExxonMobil already got involved in an in-car payment project with General Motors. In December 2017, GM introduced an in-car Marketplace enabling customers to pay for pre-orders (restaurants, bookings, etc.), for gas and for car parking.

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