Cerence launched Cerence Pay, a new product that delivers a secure, contactless payment experience in the car through voice-powered AI. Cerence Pay is designed to anticipate drivers’ needs and provide a seamless payment transaction from intent to authentication via voice and facial biometrics and through to purchase. The company is currently working with Audi on a joint project to build Cerence Pay into future Audi head units.

Just as the demand for in-car voice assistants soars, so does the need for fast, contactless, voice-powered payments for common needs on the road, including parking, fuel, electric vehicle charging, restaurant reservation booking, fast food, and more. Contactless payment was already on the rise, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the desire for touch-free payment options. In fact, according to a recent announcement by Visa, more than 70% of all Visa transactions in Europe are now made by contactless card or mobile devices.

To support this need for payments in the car, Cerence is building an ecosystem of partners that it will continue to expand over time. In addition, Cerence Pay is easily integrated with an automaker’s preferred payment partners and companion apps. This powers a flexible platform that enables OEMs to create their own unique experience and meet the specific needs of their drivers: more convenient, secure payment options driven by personalized and relevant content in their moment of need. It also offers OEMs and content providers new transaction-based revenue streams to stay competitive in today’s digital economy.

The initial Cerence Pay partners include:

  • Arrive offers a single, seamless mobility experience that leverages AI to predict and recommend the best parking solution for your destination.
  • Parkopedia is the parking service provider used by millions of drivers and organizations to find and pay for parking. Parkopedia brings new and improved parking experiences to drivers and connected cars in 15,000 cities across 89 countries covering over 70 million parking spaces.
  • Visa is the world’s leader in digital payments. Visa’s advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The Central European markets at Visa include Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands

Cerence Pay is more than on-the-road payments; it delivers context-aware commerce to drivers, enabling transactions that are relevant and easy to interact with. Through contemporary AI-based technology, personalized payment experiences eliminate the need to dig for credit cards or to enter difficult information on the head unit, so users can get what they want and keep their focus on the road. Further, Cerence Pay leverages voice and facial biometrics for secure authentication and payment. For example: 

  • Fuel Up: The driver needs to fuel up on the way to work and asks the system for the nearest gas station. Upon arrival, the driver is presented with the ability to choose a pump and pay for fuel directly from the car. The driver could also add a coffee from the convenience store or a quick car wash.
  • Dining and Drive Through: After work, the driver is making plans for dinner. The system can offer relevant choices, then book a reservation for dining if needed. The driver could also order and pay for food to pick up and take home.
  • Parking: When navigating to a busy destination downtown for the dinner, the voice assistant proactively tells the driver that there is no street parking available, then locates a garage with available space in walking distance from their destination. Once confirmed, the system provides a stall number and starts the payment process.
  • Tolls: On the way home from dinner, the driver takes a toll route and uses the system to authorize payment.