Visa is finally making its Visa Token Service open to automakers, which will mean that it will be possible for drivers to pay for fuel and other purchases without having to leave their vehicles.
The service works using a fuel app that is integrated with the vehicle's head unit. The app can detect when the vehicle is running low on fuel, and can offer directions to the nearest gas station. Once the vehicle is parked next to a gas pump, the app figures out exactly how much fuel is needed and calculates the related cost. The driver can then send payment via the app's in-car display, which is integrated with Visa's online payment service.
The use of Visa Token Service to pay for fuel is set to be tested in the USA over three months, but there's no question that the convenience of in-car fuel payments makes for a much-needed upgrade over the current system.