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Fingerprint sensor, Mercedes-Benz Pay+ turn the car into a payment device

6th March 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The mobility evolution continues at breakneck speed as Mercedes-Benz customers in Germany are now able to authenticate payments via an in-car fingerprint sensor. 

With a new digital payment service called Mercedes Pay+, Mercedes-Benz introduces what it calls ‘native in-car payments’. 

With native in-car payments, the vehicle now enables biometric two-factor authentication in conjunction with a fingerprint sensor. 

This means it is no longer necessary to type in a pin on the vehicle’s infotainment system, or to use an additional mobile device such as a smartphone to verify a payment in the car. 

Instead, the car itself turns into a payment device. 

The first Mercedes-Benz models available with fingerprint sensors in Germany are the EQS and EQE series, the S-Class and C-Class, and the new GLC.

This means customers can activate and subscribe to digital services from their cars’ infotainment systems and authorise payment transactions with their fingerprints. 

Examples of these digital services are connectivity apps that control the comfort functions of the car, such as pre-air-conditioning of the vehicle on a hot day via a mobile device, or upgrades to the vehicle’s software, such as advanced navigation services that provide information on the weather or available parking spaces at a customer’s destination.

Mercedes-Benz plans to launch Mercedes Pay+ in other European markets this year. There is no news yet on when this technology will reach South Africa.

The goal is to eventually also expand native in-car payments to other car-related services, such as refuelling.

Mercedes-Benz drivers in Germany and other markets can already pay for fuelling directly from the car via the Mercedes me app, or via the infotainment system using a pin.

The introduction of native in-car payments and payment authorisation by fingerprint inside the car will, however, make this process more seamless and convenient, believes Mercedes-Benz.

A study by Juniper Research shows that the global transaction volume of in-vehicle payments is expected to reach more than 4.7-billion by 2026. 

Paying for fuel will be the most common use for in-vehicle payments over the next five years, accounting for around 48% of total in-vehicle payment transactions by volume. 

This growth is regarded as the next step in a natural progress of payment methods regarding fuel purchases, which evolved from cash to card, then to smartphone payments, and now to in-car payments.

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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