Mercedes-Benz has introduced Mercedes Pay to enable customers in the US to use their vehicles as a device for booking and paying for off-street parking.
US vehicles equipped with the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system will be able to find and book parking spaces and automatically pay when they arrive. Parking service provider Parkopedia provides data about parking spaces. The MBUX system is controlled by voice, touch or gesture.
Mercedes Pay USA CEO Jana Breitkopf said: “Our goal with Mercedes Pay is to provide a seamless and exceptional customer experience across payment touchpoints within the Mercedes-Benz ecosystem. This new feature addresses a major customer pain point – parking – and we’re going to make that experience a lot easier for Mercedes-Benz customers.”
The German car maker’s connected car service means customers in the US no longer have to use a separate mobile app to find and pay for parking. Drivers can use MBUX to select check-in and check-out times, view the total cost and confirm their booking. A QR code will be sent to them, which they can scan when they arrive at the car park, payment processing is then enabled automatically by Mercedes Pay.
Jana Breitkopf, Mercedes Pay USA
The connection of vehicles to mobile networks is a growing internet of things (IoT) trend. According to a recent study from Rethink Research, 828.7 million cars will be connected to mobile networks over the next seven years – three times more than in 2022, when 279.3 million were connected.
And connected cars could be a boon for other sectors, including financial services. Beyond turning cars into payment devices, insurers are also offering products. Insurance is one of the biggest revenue earners from car connectivity, tapping an already massive revenue base. Connectivity could also stimulate the already growing field of usage-based insurance, such as pay-as-you-drive and pay-how-you-drive models.
Another tech trend being boosted by developments in connected cars is contactless payments, which is rapidly becoming the default for in-person payments. Contactless payment use exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic as consumers avoided physical contact when paying for goods and services. In the UK today, almost 90% of face-to-face payments are made through contactless transactions. According to numbers from Lloyds Bank, 65% of face-to-face payments were made using contactless debit cards in June 2019, which was pre-Covid, but by June 2022, this had reached 87%.
The popularity of contactless payments has continued to increase since the pandemic and shows no sign of abating.
Read more about connected vehicles
- Porsche accelerates connected vehicle development with Vodafone private 5G: Europe’s first 5G hybrid mobile private network opens at Nardò Technical Centre to offer customers an improved infrastructure to develop and test intelligent autonomous, connected vehicles.
- Qualcomm, Salesforce team up to provide connected automotive experiences: Mobile tech giant uses CES to reveal more of automotive tech slate in partnership with leading customer relationship management company.
- Luxoft drives into Microsoft connected vehicle platform ecosystem: Digital strategy and software engineering firm joins the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform as it aims to enable personalised connected customer experiences for automotive companies.
- Using big data to reinvent car parks: Car park operator APCOA is using big data to transform traditional car parks into mobility hubs that will offer electric vehicle charging, space for small businesses and depots for delivery companies.