Mastercard has teamed up with Mercedes-Benz on fingerprint sensor tech so you can pay at the gas pump with a finger.
Image Credit: Mastercard
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Mercedes-Benz and Mastercard have teamed up to let people pay at the gas pump using fingerprint sensors.
The companies are bringing embedded in-car payments to the point of sale. This partnership allows customers to make convenient and secure digital payments directly from their Mercedes-Benz vehicles using a fingerprint sensor. The service will initially be available at over 3,600 service stations in Germany.
Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker in the world to integrate Mastercard’s Secure Card on File for Commerce Platforms technology for online payments into its vehicles. By leveraging the native in-car payment service via Mercedes pay+, the car itself becomes a payment device, enhancing the overall in-vehicle experience.
With the integration of a fingerprint sensor into the MBUX infotainment system, Mercedes-Benz customers can authorize payments at gas stations using their Mastercard debit or credit cards. This represents the first use case for native in-car payments at the point of sale, further solidifying Mercedes-Benz’s position as a pioneer in this field.
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The technology ensures that transaction data is encrypted using uniquely assigned cryptograms, providing robust protection for sensitive payment information.
“With Mercedes pay+, we are making everyday life easier for our customers,” said Franz Reiner, chairman of Mercedes-Benz Mobility, in a statement. “From now on, they can pay their fuel bill directly from their car using their fingerprint – simply, securely, and conveniently. An intuitive payment process and a best-in-class customer experience lay the foundation for the success of digital offerings. We are pioneers in native in-car payment and are already working on the integration of further services.”
A recent study conducted by German market research company GfK on behalf of Mastercard revealed that approximately 50% of 18- to 39-year-olds would be interested in ordering and paying for services and goods directly through the infotainment display in their vehicles. The study also highlighted that 60% of respondents would use in-car payment primarily for car-related services such as paying for gas or electric vehicle charging.
Jorn Lambert, chief digital officer at Mastercard, said in a statement, “Digital payments are coming of age, and consumers want to embrace new forms that are infused into their everyday experiences and activities. Through our dynamic payments technology, we are proud to work hand in hand with Mercedes-Benz to bring safer, smarter, and more intelligent commerce experiences to its vehicles. We look forward to our continued efforts to drive further innovation in this area in Germany and around the world.”
Christopher Miller, an emerging payments analyst from Javelin, said in a statement that the joint effort represents a step toward a more seamless and integrated payments ecosystem. Miller highlighted the importance of end-to-end integration, including authentication hardware in vehicles, fuel cost calculations, and email delivery of receipts. He also emphasized that differentiated payment flows are crucial to persuade consumers to adopt emerging technologies such as pay-by-car.
How it works
When a driver arrives at a connected service station and turns off the engine, the Mercedes me Fuel & Pay service automatically starts on the MBUX infotainment system. The driver can then select the desired gas pump. Before refueling, the system calculates the maximum total amount based on the current fuel price and the amount of fuel needed to fill the tank. Instead of authorizing the payment via a mobile device, the driver completes the transaction seamlessly through fingerprint authentication.
After refueling, the driver can view the amount of fuel refueled and the invoice amount on the MBUX display, which is automatically charged to their Mastercard debit or credit card. This allows the driver to leave the gas station without having to visit the checkout area. The invoice is sent to the customer via email.
I asked how the company deals with security issues. A spokesperson said, “Mastercard has long pioneered biometrics – in store and online – as a secure way to verify identity, replacing the password with the person. The effort, which builds on the EMV 3-D Secure standard, enables people to shop and pay through biometric-powered payment cards, devices and wearables.”
Mastercard added, “As this technology is increasingly adopted across the world, Mastercard is helping ensure all stakeholders maintain the highest levels of security and privacy to protect consumers. This is governed by Mastercard’s principles for data responsibility, reinforcing that consumers have the right to control how their personal data is shared and benefit from its use.”
Where to find it
Mercedes me Fuel & Pay, along with fingerprint sensor contactless payment, is currently available at over 3,600 cooperating gas stations in Germany. Customers can use their German-issued Mastercard credit or debit cards for native in-car payment by registering their card in the Mercedes me user account and activating it in the vehicle through the MBUX infotainment system’s Mercedes pay+ feature.
Mercedes-Benz plans to expand fingerprint payments from the car to include other vehicle-related services and expand to other European markets in the near future.
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