- Shell Oil and General Motors announced a partnership that will let drivers of select Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles pay for gas directly through their cars at Shell pumps, according to an announcement. GM Marketplace is a commerce platform that allows drivers to order food, make restaurant reservations, find parking or hotels, or locate and pay for fuel directly from the infotainment screens in their car.
- Drivers can get a three-digit code from their infotainment screens, which activates a specific pump and lets the driver begin fueling without having to swipe a credit card, use a mobile device or input Shell's Fuel Rewards information. The amount due is then automatically charged to the customer's stored credit card, and loyalty savings and rewards points are automatically applied.
- Shell and GM worked with companies such as Excentus, Xevo, Chase, Buy It Mobility (BIM) and Shell's payment platform provider, P97, on the service. The nationwide rollout arrives to Shell stations after a pilot in a handful of U.S. cities earlier this year, per the release.
Shell's activation of payment services on GM Marketplace may boost the value of cars' infotainment systems by streamlining gas payments. This follows an announcement last year that the gasoline brand would be among the first retailers on GM's in-vehicle commerce platform, which lets drivers order food, find gas stations or reserve hotel rooms by tapping a touchscreen on their dashboards.
While automakers are enhancing in-car services to meet the needs of drivers, they are competing against Apple, Android and others offering similar services for drivers that integrate with their smartphones. Research from Strategy Analytics last year suggested that drivers prefer options integrated with their smartphones but that could change as automakers beef up their offerings.
ExxonMobil, which was also part of that initial plan, announced earlier this month that its Speedpass payment app was live on GM Marketplace, demonstrating that more gas companies find value in getting in on the latest in-vehicle technology. In-car commerce is set to grow, especially among younger drivers and those purchasing the newest car models. About three quarters of all commuters and 82% of millennials with long commutes said they would spend more if the ability to shop and pay were integrated into their car, per a study by Visa and PYMNTS.com. This points to the likely lucrative business of in-car commerce, which retailers and quick-service chains like Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks have already invested in.
Meanwhile, GM Marketplace adds an additional source of revenue for GM, which will collect an undisclosed portion of sales from merchants featured in the dashboard console. The carmaker won't charge customers for using the service or data transmissions while making transactions, which further removes friction and encourages the use of the service. GM seeks to expand the products and services offered on Marketplace to include more retailers, vehicle-related services and access to a dealer network, Reuters reported. GM plans to equip about 4 million vehicles with Marketplace among its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands in the U.S. this year.