A wallet on wheels

By Teamspirit on Sunday, 3 June 2018

In 2018, it can be harder to find an object that doesn’t double as a payment method than one that does.

This week, Hyundai introduced another option to add to your ever-expanding collection of cash, cards, cheques, apps, phones, stickers, key rings, computers and internet-enabled toasters: your car.

The Korean manufacturer has paired with software designer Xevo to add payment capability to selected new vehicles. Users will initially be able to pay for travel essentials such as coffee, fuel and parking through the connected ‘infotainment’ screen, before the service expands to cover restaurant reservations, takeaway orders and EV charging.

As part of the deal, Xevo are helping Hyundai build a car-wallet platform to securely store credit card and PayPal information.

This part is crucial. Connectedness is an increasingly popular selling point for the most seemingly unrelated products – just witness this incredible internet-enabled waterbottle (to remind you to drink, obviously) or this digital egg tray.

But no system is unhackable. A rolling wallet you leave on the street for hours at a time is a susceptible target. And if you are targeted, the consequences are a little greater than gone-off eggs.

So, if in-car payment is to go from tech-nerd curiosity to widespread adoption, Hyundai and Xevo have to stay one step ahead of the inevitable bad actors who will target their products.

For Manish Mehrota, Director of Digital Business Planning and Connected Operations at Hyundai Motor America, the scheme’s success is assured.

Speaking at the launch, he said: “Once our owners experience placing a to-go order using their vehicle’s touchscreen and seamlessly routing to the location, we know they’re going to love it.”

It’s 2018 and your car is ordering your takeaway. Even K.I.T.T couldn’t do that.

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