BRUSSELS, Belgium—Personal vehicles in the pandemic age are seen by many consumers as a way to reduce their COVID-19 risk, and retailers across the globe are focusing on drive-thru service and curbside pickup in response. A new study by a Belgian group projects that 600 million vehicles will generate in-car transactions of half a trillion dollars by the end of the decade.

“The revenue potential for v-commerce is considerable for both OEMs and vertical market players,” said Andrew Jackson, research director, PTOLEMUS Consulting Group, in a news release. “In-car payments exist already in the aftermarket today, but our research finds that 17 car makers are already developing embedded payment solutions. Furthermore, COVID-19 is triggering a take-off in electronic payments, which OEMs can benefit from.”

PTOLEMUS says vehicle commerce—v-commerce—will create new revenue streams for payment providers, automakers and merchants (from gas stations to restaurants) in verticals such as tolling, fueling and parking.

The group expects the v-commerce market to be dominated by fuel and parking payments. However, strong growth also will be generated by content subscriptions, software updates, EV charging, food and beverage and grocery purchases. Customers will pay extra for more convenience, a cashless experience and better customer service, PTOLEMUS said.

PTOLEMUS’ Connected Vehicle Payments Global Study examined the strategy of 17 manufacturers, including Audi, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors, Hyundai and Tesla, that are developing a connected car payment program. Honda’s Dream Drive, Mercedes Pay and Volkswagen Pay are a few examples. The report notes that the “race for revenue from connected vehicle payments is not just for OEMs, with SiriusXM, Shell, Visa, Harman and Xevo, plus many others, entering the market with their own solutions, too.”

Andrew said: “We fully expect v-commerce will disrupt existing aftermarket value chains for fuel card services, electronic toll collection (ETC), parking services and mobility payments. V-commerce is set to be big business.”

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