Some Mercedes-Benz drivers will soon be able to make payments from the comfort of their cars and using only a fingerprint scan, thanks to a new collaboration between Daimler Mobility and Visa.
The biometric payment authorization will be enabled by Visa’s Delegated Authentication technology. For end users, the functionality will available through the MBUX head unit of a given car. Mercedes upgraded its MBUX infotainment system last summer, adding support for multimodal biometric authentication as well as enhanced voice control and new navigation system features.
The collaboration will see Daimler become the first automotive company to integrate the Visa Cloud Token Framework into its vehicles. The Framework is designed to obscure sensitive payment information, helping to keep it secure while enabling cloud-based payment authorization across multiple devices.
In the Mercedes MBUX system, the Visa Cloud Token Framework will facilitate the use of biometric credentials to automatically share payment information without requiring any further action from the end user beyond the fingerprint scan.
It isn’t yet clear which Mercedes-Benz models will support the in-car payments system, but the companies’ announcement indicated that it will be available to customers in the United Kingdom and Germany starting in the spring of 2022. Nor did the companies name specific merchants that would accept in-car payments, though they offered purchases of gas and parking permits as examples of how the system can be used.
The planned deployments will see the technology debut in region’s protected by strong privacy and data protection regulations, most notably the European Union’s PSD2 framework and its requirement for Strong Customer Authentication.
“It is significant that both the successful pilot testing and initial launch activities are taking place in Europe, a world-leading hub for payments and automotive innovation,” noted Visa’s Head of European Markets, Antony Cahill. “This is a powerful example of how the world’s leader in digital payments and the inventor of the automobile are able to combine their technologies to create the next generation of smart solutions for the automobility sector, providing the driver and passengers with a completely new in-car connected commerce experience.”
Mercedes, meanwhile, has shown a growing interest in biometric technology beyond payment applications. The company revealed earlier this year that an upgrade to its S-Class series’ EQS dashboard would deliver facial recognition technology designed to recognize drivers and passengers.