FordPay Represents Ford’s Push to Mobile Payments

January 20, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

Some might think that “Ford” and “mobile payments” might be mutually exclusive terms.

They don’t exactly sound like complementary goods, at least until one looks closer at the notion. With a closer look, FordPay from Ford suddenly seems like a fairly worthwhile plan.

FordPay will allow Ford car owners to use a virtual wallet that stores payment details on a mobile phone, part of the larger FordPass system which gives users more “mobility options,” as well as access to certain merchant-specific rewards.

Ford has already been closely at work with both ParkWhiz and Parkopedia to get access to parking—whether finding it or paying for it—and the services could increase from there.

There’s also a new connectivity feature known as FordGuides, a slate of personal mobility assistants who provide answers to questions at most any time of the day or night. A FordGuide might help a user find parking, find a way around construction zones, or any of a number of other functions.

Naturally, various immediate car-related services are fair game, with potential for accompanying rewards. Consider a parking meter that offers the tenth parking at no charge, or never having to add change to a parking meter ever again, letting the car handle the tab once the driver leaves the space.

Then, consider the notion of the drive-thru window; FordPass already has a partnership with McDonald’s, at last report, so expanding that to include Wendy’s and Burger King and anyone else with a drive-thru should be comparatively simple.

Skipping a step and removing the cash handling should speed up service, and make a drive-thru experience move a lot faster. Throw in services like Applebee’s Carside to Go and restaurants might well be eager to accommodate the mobile customer who pays from his or her car.

FordPass is free for Ford vehicle owners, and since the experience can be activated from a smartphone, the platform is open to a variety of users. It’s a service with a great potential to speed up a user’s day and improve mobility; the sheer impact to convenience is one to make this worth adding on.

If it goes as far as it could go, we might well see a lot more drive-thru and carside to go style services, paid for from a FordPay mobile wallet.