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Wholesale Banking

In-car payments: when the car pays by itself

Fuel, parking and toll fees are just a few examples of goods and services that our car will be able to pay for automatically in the future. So-called in-car payments make this possible. What does this mean for the automotive industry and, above all, for consumers?

The car will become a method of payment

Digitalisation is changing many things, including how we get around. It allows us to share vehicles with one another or use an autonomous vehicle to get us to our destination. In the future, the car will also be able to pay for goods and services automatically without the driver having to leave their seat. This applies not only to vehicle-related services, but also to goods that can be purchased online. If, thanks to autonomous driving, you no longer have to drive yourself in the future, this opens up the possibility of using travel time for other activities, such as online shopping. The car will be able to offer e-commerce channels to the user during their journey via an in-vehicle interface and carry out the payment process autonomously. The entire spectrum of the shopping experience, online and offline, will be able to be displayed in the car.

However, in-car payments also pose major challenges for car manufacturers. In order to guarantee a smooth payment process, many parties need to be involved: vehicle manufacturers, service providers such as petrol stations or toll operators, payment service providers and vehicle operators such as car sharing providers. The single payment made by the customer needs to be debited in real time and divided among all the companies involved. To ensure that this process runs smoothly, the interfaces of the different platforms need to be similar to one another. However, there are still no uniform standards for the platforms of vehicle manufacturers and for processing payment transactions.

Banks as partners for mobility

When it comes to the secure infrastructure that is needed to share payment data, car manufacturers are able to draw on the expertise of banks, as they are already in a position to provide the processes required for in-car payments. Autonomous payments are always subject to an increased risk of money laundering and fraud. The regulatory requirements behind the Know Your Customer principle make banks well equipped to deal with these risks, as they conduct an extensive review of customers as soon as they open their accounts. In this way, customer data from banks can be easily connected to the end user data of a company, saving manufacturers and the user a laborious registration process.