CES 2019: Visa, SiriusXM May Have In-Car Mobile Payments Sewn Up

January 10, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

We’ve heard more than a little about the concept of in-car mobile payments for some time now. Usually, this is followed by remarks along the lines of “why are we stopping here” or “this doesn’t go nearly far enough.” Now, that may not be an issue, and the in-car mobile payments stakes could be won thanks to a new announcement at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event between Visa and SiriusXM.

The combined effort between the two brings Visa’s e-wallet systems to SiriusXM, which would effectively put the Visa system into just about any car with satellite radio access and a suitable display for same. The resulting system would then be able to work anywhere Visa does, which is to say, just about everywhere from gas to restaurant drive-thrus to bridge tolls and beyond. Security will be provided via biometric authentication focused on voice and a set of touchscreen commands that limit distracted driving risk.

Visa and SiriusXM have already taken their act on the road, and are currently presenting their plans to automakers, which should put the system in cars potentially with the next model year.

Visa’s vice president of IoT platforms Olabisi Boyle noted “Teaming up with SiriusXM is a big step forward in Visa’s quest for connected commerce across the automotive ecosystem. SiriusXM’s solid network with automotive manufacturers and established consumer interfaces, combined with our payments expertise, will help fast-track the endless opportunities for drivers to safely and securely accomplish tasks during their commute.”

This platform does what so many before it either could not or would not. It goes farther. It encompasses most all of the possibilities an in-dash mobile payments system could produce, from paying for food at a drive-thru window to covering toll road fees. It does it all as safely and securely as most any Visa platform could—the biometrics certainly don’t hurt—and all from a center console. It’s safe, convenient, and best of all, it’s accepted everywhere.

This might be the one that comes out ahead; it’s got the range, the ease of use, and the security to make it truly worthwhile. Only time will tell if it can catch on and win, but it certainly has the best recipe yet.