Corporate fleet card giant WEX is getting into the consumer market for the first time through a partnership with GasBuddy, an app that helps drivers find the nearest gas station with current fuel prices.
The strategic partnership between South Portland, Maine-based WEX and Boston-based GasBuddy aims to explore strategic uses of their collective technology, data and infrastructure for a consumer-facing payments solution, the companies said in a Wednesday press release.
WEX covers approximately 10 million vehicles in the fleet space with payment solutions and apps, and GasBuddy has been downloaded 65 million times by consumers who use it to locate the nearest gas station and compare prices, according to the release.
GasBuddy, which lacks any payments feature in its smartphone app, uses a crowdsourcing model for its gas station location and pricing data. Third parties, including the driving app Waze, draw upon GasBuddy’s data, the companies noted.
“In the partnership we're working together to explore, build, test and possibly commercialize all manner of fuel payment forms, and certainly mobile payments is one area we are keenly interested in testing with WEX,” said Michael DiLorenzo, GasBuddy’s vice president of marketing, in an interview.
WEX's own technology, data and access to fuel retail sites — combined with GasBuddy’s large user base — will lead to new business opportunities, said Brian Fournier, WEX vice president of merchant and partner development, in the release. “We are excited to work with GasBuddy to bring unique payments solutions to the market, and we are looking forward to tailoring this offer to support our strategic expansion in adjacent markets.”
The companies plan to announce a consumer-facing payments app later this year.