FIS is taking a major step toward completing its ongoing project of making it possible for people to pay for fuel without getting out of the car.
Through a partnership with SAP, an enterprise software provider that recently launched its cloud-based SAP Vehicles Network for automobile operating systems, FIS will provide the payment gateway to enable consumers to purchase gas from a connected car or mobile device.
"What we are seeing is the ball is finally starting to roll in the mobile space, as the consumer is going to get that feeling that they can use mobile at the pump," said Bob Legters, senior vice president of product for Jacksonville, Fla.-based FIS.
It will take some time before mobile becomes ubiquitous at the pump, much in the same way the concept of paying at the pump took about five years to really take off, Legters said.
Indeed, many companies are beginning to see the natural connection between mobile phones, automobiles and payments, since nearly every consumer interacts with all three daily.
Mobile commerce provider P97 also announced an arrangement with this week with JPMorgan Chase that would let Chase Pay users make contactless payments at pumps or convenience stores using the PetroZone mobile commerce platform.
Visa and Pizza Hut partnered with Accenture earlier this year to develop mobile and online purchases through a "connected car," with Visa providing its Visa Checkout service for online purchases
Apple has joined the discussion as it continues to work on the Apple CarPlay concept, which bridges its iPhone devices to a connected Apple Car.
The payments industry is going through a period in which it "has to figure out some other situations" when it comes to drive-through payments, said Richard Oglesby, senior analyst at Double Diamond Payments Research.
"The overall construct of drive-through payments is a big opportunity," Oglesby said. "It could be a lot more efficient and secure at gas stations and restaurants."
Paying at a pump from inside the car will call for FIS and others to tackle certain issues that are specific to gas purchases and pump hardware, Oglesby said.
"You would love to pay without touching the point of sale, but it has to be precise location, because there is another gas pump right on the other side [of the pump you are using]," Oglesby said.
Samsung will join FIS and SAP as an initial mobile payment provider for the in-car payment project, but the system is being built to allow any type of mobile payment method. FIS hopes to see a complete rollout of the functionality next year.
The SAP software will enable a car's driver to initiate a payment through a mobile phone, while FIS will move the transaction from the vehicle to the gas pump control and onto the payment processing network, Legters said.
"You don't want to reprogram the car with everything from the phone, so the unique part is just enabling the mobile device to make a payment from the car," Legters added. However, in some cases the software could be set up to work right from the car system, as if it had a built-in phone, allowing a consumer to choose a method, Legters said.
The payment system won't be the only thing that needs to be established for this to work.
"A three-party relationship takes place to get started with the software provider, manufacturer and the transaction processor," Legters added. "Then there is a fourth party, that being the point of sale system and the merchant."
It is not likely that development of any mobile payment method at the gas pump will alleviate the fuel industry's concern over upgrade costs to accept EMV-chip cards, a project they must complete by 2017 to avoid a shift in fraud liability.
"It will certainly catapult a bunch of people past EMV with mobile at the pump, but the time it would take to cycle all vehicles through this … that's a long runway that goes well beyond the two years they have to solve the EMV problem," Legters said.