Cerence is moving into the financial services space with the launch of Cerence Pay. The new service will allow drivers to use their voice to complete contactless transactions without needing to leave their vehicle.
In that regard, Cerence noted that the number of contactless transactions has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cerence Pay is intended to help meet that demand, and to allow people to pay for gas, parking, and tolls as conveniently as possible. Drivers could also use Cerence to place (and pay for) an order with a local restaurant on the way home from work without needing to dig for a credit card while on the phone or while grabbing take out.
With that in mind, Cerence has already started to put together an ecosystem of partners that will support Cerence pay. Visa will be backing Cerence Pay in its central European markets, which include Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. The parking service companies Parkopedia and Arrive have also signed on, while Audi will be working with Cerence to build Cerence Pay into future generations of Audi vehicles.
According to Cerence, car manufacturers will be able to integrate Cerence pay with their existing apps and ecosystem partners. The platform itself will allow users to authorize payments with both voice and face biometrics.
“As contactless pay becomes an everyday occurrence for people at grocery stores, coffee shops, and other retailers, we want to deliver that same great experience on the road,” said Cerence VP and Applications GM Nils Lenke.
“In-vehicle payments are one part of the Internet of Things where we see tremendous potential,” added Jürgen Schübel, the Head of MS&A at Visa in Central Europe. “For consumers, paying from inside their car is as simple as using their debit or credit card in store. This opens up convenient transportation and paves the way for the next generation of in-car payments.”
Cerence recently released a new Cerence Studio platform that will make it easier for vehicle manufacturers to build their own in-car voice assistants. In the meantime, Cerence is not the only company working to support in-car payments. Earlier this year, SiriusXM announced that it would be securing its own mobile wallet with EyeLock’s iris recognition technology.