Digital vehicle wallets shift connected car payments into overdrive


The golden rule for payments is to put yourself in the end users’ place. 
That’s because in payments, as in life and business, innovation is the key to unlocking new realms of convenience and efficiency — and innovation can only scale if it gives end users what they want. 
That’s why PYMNTS sat down with Evgeny Klochikhin, founder and CEO at Sheeva.AI, for the “AI Effect” series. 
Sheeva is spearheading a transformative approach to in-car payments through geolocation technology and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI). 
“It’s a new market. We do not have transactions right now inside cars. None of us are familiar with what it would even mean. Therefore, when we talk about launching a new category like in-vehicle payments, we have to make it as convenient as our existing payment methods,” Klochikhin explained. 
At the core of in-vehicle payments innovation lies geolocation technology, which enables drivers to pay for and receive services such as fueling, electric vehicle charging, parking and curbside pickup directly from within their vehicles. 
By leveraging precise vehicle location data, Klochikhin explained that Sheeva can deliver a personalized and contextualized payment experience, tailored to the driver’s needs in real time.
“Location is the best predictor of customer intent,” he said. 

Unlocking In-Vehicle Payments

As reported here, Sheeva.AI’s product suite is being rolled out globally, with more than 2 million fuel pumps, parking spaces, electric vehicle (EV) chargers and other services points mapped in the database for the company’s location-based platform.
Most recently, with a presence already established in the United States, Germany and Japan, the company’s in-vehicle payment technology became available in Citroën vehicles in India. 
“We’re very bullish on the Indian market because the market itself is super focused on digital payments,” Klochikhin said.
Through this collaboration, drivers in India can now seamlessly pay for fuel without the need for manual intervention or additional QR code scanning, a milestone. 
“We expect competitors because we hope the market will take shape globally. … There are players who are focused on specific verticals such as paying for parking, or fueling, or electric vehicle charging …but we do not want a platform that has only one use case. We want all of it in one account for you, the driver. Therefore, the driver is a key perspective for us,” Klochikhin said.
“That allows us to create a B2B API product, which now is a white labeled vehicle wallet where every auto manufacturer … can just plug in. Making it a white label experience just creates a much better homogeneity of you driving your own vehicle and actually transacting within that car,” he added, explaining that automotive brands can brand the payments by default. 

Revolutionizing the Connected Car Experience

One of the key factors driving the adoption of in-car payment solutions is the emphasis on convenience and simplicity via the use of the vehicle wallet, or automobile itself, as payment mechanism. 
The vehicle wallet as a revolutionary concept in digital payments, and Klochikhin likened it to an Uber-like experience where payment and service are unified. This approach not only simplifies transactions but also integrates the service into the payment process, offering a holistic experience to the user.
“What we’re trying to put inside the vehicle wallet is creating this one account which combines both the payment means as well as the service itself. So, it becomes the single experience for you as a driver,” he explained. 
“It’s a three-sided marketplace. You have automakers that have to put this technology inside and enable it for the consumers to use. Then you have service providers in all those verticals, which we would call use cases such as fueling electrical, charging, parking, curbside pickup, etcetera. The third pillar is the consumers, and educating them to make sure they understand how to use the system,” Klochikhin said. “Without those three components, nothing will work.”
Looking ahead, Klochikhin envisions a future where in-car payments extend beyond traditional use cases to encompass a wide range of services. From parking and toll payments to curbside pickup and drive-thru transactions, the possibilities are limitless. By leveraging emerging technologies such as voice recognition and AI-driven interfaces, Sheeva seeks to further enhance the user experience and streamline in-car transactions.




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