Mercedes-Benz owners in Germany can now start the fueling process directly from their vehicle and pay digitally by fingerprint with a new native in-car payment service, developed in partnership with Mastercard.
The new offering in the Mercedes Pay+ platform turns the car into a payment device at service stations via an integration with the Mercedes MBUX infotainment system. The offering is now live with German-issued Mastercard debit and credit cards in all current Mercedes-Benz models and can be used for refueling at more than 3,600 gas stations across Germany. And this is just the beginning, with the partners saying that fingerprint payments from the car will soon be extended to other vehicle-related services and to other European markets.
Here’s how it works: When a driver reaches a connected service station and switches off the engine, the “Mercedes me” Fuel & Pay service will launch automatically on the MBUX infotainment system. The driver selects the appropriate gas pump, and then, rather than authorizing the payment via a mobile device, the driver will complete the transaction through fingerprint authentication. After refueling, the driver will see how much fuel they purchased and the amount that will be charged to their Mastercard on the MBUX display. Payment will be made automatically, and the driver will be able to leave the gas station without having to walk to the checkout area. An invoice is then sent to the customer by email.
“An intuitive payment process and a best-in-class customer experience lay the foundation for the success of digital offerings,” said Franz Reiner, Chairman of the Board of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG in a statement. “We are pioneers in native in-car payment and are already working on the integration of further services.”
Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker to integrate Mastercard’s Secure Card on File for Commerce platform into its cars. The technology allows for transaction data to be encrypted using uniquely assigned cryptograms to protect sensitive payment information.
And while refueling is the first use case for native in-car payments, research indicates that consumers, especially younger ones, would be willing to use the service for other purchases as well. Approximately half of 18- to 39-year-olds said they would order and pay for services and goods directly via the infotainment display in a study conducted by the German market research company GfK on behalf of Mastercard.
“Digital payments are coming of age, and consumers want to embrace new forms that are infused into their everyday experiences and activities,” said Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer at Mastercard in a statement. “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.”