In-car payments are a new trend in the automotive industry. They allow drivers and passengers to use their cars as a platform for accessing various services and products, such as shopping, entertainment, travel, parking, and more. According to predictions used by commercetools, in-car payments are expected to generate a considerable business opportunity worth $212 billion by 2025.
What are the current challenges in using in-car payment methods?
However, in-car payments also pose some challenges for car manufacturers and consumers. Car manufacturers need to create connected cars that can integrate with different payment providers, offer seamless and secure user experiences, and adapt to changing customer preferences and market demands.
Consumers need to trust that their in-car payments are safe, convenient, and reliable and that they can access the services and products they want without compromising their privacy or data.
This is what commercetools decided to resolve. The company is a leading provider of MACH-based technology, which they want to apply to in-car payments. MACH stands for microservices, API-first, cloud-native, and headless. This means that commercetools offers a flexible, scalable, and modular platform.
Their goal is to enable car manufacturers to create connected cars offering direct-to-consumer mobility services and providing unified experiences throughout the customer journey.
One of the features that commercetools suggests using is functions-on-demand. This allows car owners to customize their driving experience by purchasing additional functions and features, such as lighting, driving assist systems, engine capabilities, infotainment, and more.
These functions can be activated through a license instead of changing the hardware of the car. This way, car owners can tailor their cars to their needs and preferences without having to buy a new one. It is worth mentioning that soft-locking some functions using software is often criticized, as it was with old iPhones.
In-car payments will also use voice interfaces, allowing passengers to interact with apps and services using built-in voice assistants such as Amazon Echo.
What are the most popular examples of in-car payment usage?
Soon, you'll be able to pay for gas and tolls through integrated car payment processing, without relying on any payment method other than in-car payments. Leaders in the automotive industry are exploring how connected cars and automotive payment apps can be utilized to create a new point of interaction with customers.
So, stay prepared for updates, stay informed about them, and use them conveniently and advantageously.
One of the most desired features among consumers is the ability to pay for fuel at the gas station without the need for a card or phone. Drivers receive automatic notifications when their fuel is running low and are directed to the nearest gas station. Once within the geofence of a connected fuel pump, the driver can issue commands through the digital dashboard. They can view the payment amount on the screen and confirm the transaction either by voice command or by pressing a button.
The use of voice commands presents another promising avenue for innovation. According to the Digital Drive study mentioned earlier, 64.9% of commuters opt for the voice assistant provided by the auto manufacturer. Furthermore, integrating popular apps like Siri and Google Assistant into auto dashboards could yield additional profits. Commuter spending with Google Assistant, integrated into the digital dashboard, is anticipated to rise by 31.9% in the coming years.
Predictive maintenance stands out as one of the most promising IoT applications in the automotive industry. By analyzing real-time data, proactive systems can send timely alerts about potential hardware or software issues to vehicle owners. This prompts owners to schedule maintenance or head to the nearest dealership for an inspection.
Utilizing a connected dashboard, drivers can also get advance estimates of repair costs, collect quotes from various service providers, and even order necessary parts. Integrating in-car payment systems into vehicles allows drivers to smoothly handle payment for these repairs upon picking up their cars.
The demand for automated repair payments is likely to increase further with the advent of self-driving cars. With the owner's permission, autonomous vehicles could be programmed to autonomously schedule maintenance, pay for the services rendered, and return to the owner, who would receive a digital repair summary and an invoice.
Likewise, drivers can conveniently handle payments for smart parking, ensuring a cashless, ticketless, and stress-free experience. Parking facilities equipped with IoT technology can relay details about space availability and pricing directly to a vehicle's onboard system through over-the-air (OTA) technology. This allows drivers to promptly receive notifications about nearby open parking spots and navigate to their preferred location.
Automated automotive payments seamlessly take place as the driver exits the parking area. This eliminates the hassle of searching for parking in crowded locations for drivers. Cities can reap the benefits of improved traffic management, decreased pollution, and lowered operational costs for parking spaces, given the declining need for traditional meters.
- Paying tolls
By employing long-range radio frequency identification (RFID), license plates and windshield labels can be converted into electronically readable secure credentials, enhancing authentication measures. These enhanced components are capable of being read within a range of 10 to 15 meters. As a driver approaches a toll road, the stationary gates can register the vehicle and securely deduct funds from the driver's account linked to the car.
- Repair vehicle payments
Anticipatory maintenance emerges as one of the most promising IoT applications in the automotive sector. By scrutinizing real-time data, proactive systems can promptly relay updates regarding potential hardware or software glitches to vehicle owners. Subsequently, owners may receive prompts to schedule maintenance or head to the nearest dealership for an inspection.
Utilizing a connected dashboard, drivers can also project repair costs in advance, collect quotes from various service providers, or order necessary parts. The integration of in-car payment systems allows drivers to effortlessly settle these repair expenses when retrieving their cars.
The demand for automated repair payments is likely to surge further with the introduction of self-driving cars. Autonomous vehicles, with the owner's consent, could be programmed to self-dispatch for maintenance, cover the associated costs, and return to the owner, who would then receive a digital repair summary and an invoice.
Technologies are ever-evolving. Each year brings about more changes across various industries. Innovations aim to make people's lives more comfortable and convenient, making it crucial to stay abreast of trends and shifts in industries. Keeping tabs on these changes allows you to be aware and seize opportunities.
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