- Convenience store and gasoline chain Alltown now lets drivers pay for gas using their E-ZPass tag, the electronic toll payment system that's in more than 35 million cars, according to a company announcement. E-ZPass subscribers can bill their gas purchases directly to a credit or debit card or to a digital wallet without having to swipe a card at the pump.
- To use the contactless payment system, drivers need to sign up for PayByCar, the in-vehicle payment system developed by tech firm Verdeva. PayByCar's website asks for an E-Z Pass transponder number and payment method, as charges aren't billed to E-Z Pass.
- After that, drivers can pull up to any pump at Alltown locations, where PayByCar's RFID system recognizes the transponder and sends a text to the driver's cellphone. The customer replies to confirm their pump number and PayByCar activates the pump, processes the transaction and sends an email receipt that also displays Alltown offers and discounts.
Alltown's integration with E-ZPass gives the Northeast region store chain a chance to provide greater convenience to drivers and to upsell customers on products and services at its convenience stores. The system's dependence on a mobile device opens a communication channel with customers that can be customized to provide individualized offers and discounts. For smaller chains like Alltown, those upselling opportunities can make a big difference in boosting profits for their store operations and driving greater brand awareness through advertising and promotions.
By integrating the feature with E-ZPass transponders — devices already in millions of cars across the country — PayByCar and Alltown are bringing car commerce to more consumers who might not be familiar with newer mobile payment systems. The integration with E-ZPass gives Alltown a way to provide wireless payments to drivers who aren't equipped with the latest in-car payment technologies that carmakers are beginning to include as the default in vehicles. General Motors and Shell Oil partnered last year to let drivers of select Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models pay for gas directly through their car's dashboard screen at Shell pumps. ExxonMobil's payment app also works on GM Marketplace, the carmaker's commerce platform that allows drivers to order food, make restaurant reservations, find parking or hotels, or locate and pay for fuel directly from vehicle infotainment screens.
Alltown is working with P97 Networks, a mobile commerce software and services provider, to provide E-ZPass payments to customers. The convenience chain began testing the service last month at a single location in Westborough, Massachusetts, per a separate announcement.
The integration comes as in-car commerce is forecast to grow as carmakers and tech companies build out car connectivity, especially when next-generation 5G service expands nationwide over the next few years. Daily commuting times represent a $230 billion in-car commerce opportunity for mobile marketers, according to a study by PYMNTS.com and P97 Networks, suggesting that seamless payment systems like Alltown's and PayByCar's could drive sales.