Cerence Pay launched for in-car voice-powered payments

  • August 5, 2020
  • William Payne

Massachusetts based AI company Cerence has launched a voice-powered payments systems designed for cars. The system uses AI to provide voice and facial biometrics to provide secure contactless payments for drivers. The company is working with Audi to implement the new system in future Audi cars. Visa has signed on as a payment partner for the central European region.

The new system is designed to meet growing need for contactless payments from the car. Demand for contactless payment systems have been rising, but the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly increased calls for such systems.

To support this need for payments in the car, Cerence is building an ecosystem of partners that it will continue to expand over time. The company says that Cerence Pay can be easily integrated with a car maker’s preferred payment partners and companion apps.

Initial Cerence Pay partners include parking service providers Arrive and Parkopedia.

Digital payments specialist Visa has also signed up as a partner in central European markets, which include: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

“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, where safety and convenience are of the utmost importance,” said Nils Lenke, VP and General Manager of Cerence Applications business. “Beyond the benefits to drivers and passengers, Cerence Pay enables OEMs to offer a superior, intuitive experience with safe and secure transactions via voice and facial biometrics and seamless integration with the car’s head unit and companion apps.”

“We’ve set out to build a natural, intuitive in-car experience centred around an intelligent companion that meets drivers’ every need while on the go,” said Andreas Reich, Executive Director, Development of Connected Car & Infotainment, Audi. “Cerence Pay is a relevant module, making the travel experience that much simpler and safer through secure, voice-powered payments – a must in today’s world.”

“Visa aims to provide seamless commerce experiences to consumers around the world. In-vehicle payments are just one part of Internet of Things where we see tremendous potential. This is why we are excited to be working together with Cerence in Central Europe,” said Jürgen Schübel, Head of MS&A at Visa in Central Europe. “For consumers, paying from inside of their car is as simple as using their debit or credit card in store – and it is just as secure, thanks to the Visa tokenisation technology. This opens up a whole new world of convenient transportation and paves the way for the next generation of in-car payments.”

“Arrive pioneered voice-enabled parking in 2017, and our investment in AI has transformed the consumer experience. In-car assistants powered by Arrive’s recommendation engine makes parking intuitive and easy, allowing consumers to focus on the road,” said Ed Lewis, Senior Vice President of Arrive. “Cerence is a market leader in voice AI and a trusted partner of the world’s leading automakers. We anticipate Cerence Pay will benefit hundreds of millions of consumers and parking will be among the most used services.”

Commenting on the announcement, Parkopedia’s COO, Hans Puvogel said, “Parkopedia is the leading provider of multi-vendor parking payment solutions to the automotive and mapping companies around the world. Parkopedia provides its parking payment platform to Cerence as an extension of our long-standing relationship building on our existing integration with Cerence’s cloud service. We are delighted to assist in delivering a seamless voice assistant payment experience to drivers around the world.”