Pumping gas is not that difficult, but Amazon thinks the process could be even easier by way of a voice command, spoken aloud when you arrive at the pump: “Alexa, pay for gas.” Today, Amazon, alongside ExxonMobil and Fiserv, announced a new voice experience for pumping gas that will roll out to more than 11,500 Exxon and Mobile gas stations across the U.S. later this year.
The ability to pay for gas via Alexa will initially be made available to customers with Alexa-enabled vehicles, Echo Auto and other Alexa-enabled mobility devices, Amazon says.
When the customer arrives at the pump, they’ll just have to say, “Alexa pay for gas” to get started. Alexa will then confirm the station location and pump number.
The transactions themselves will be processed using Amazon Pay. That uses the same payment information stored in the customer’s Amazon account. Fiserv’s digital commerce technology will help power the transactions by activating the pump and facilitating the token generation to ensure a secure payment experience.
It’s not clear that the Alexa-enabled experience is significantly faster or easier than inserting your payment card at the pump directly. If anything, it seems a little more involved. But the technology could be useful for some because it allows you to remain in the car until the pump is authorized and ready to go, instead of requiring you to stand outside while the activation process takes place.
That’s a nice perk for cold, winter days — but it also could be appreciated by women and others who are wary of being alone at the pump — like when pumping gas at night or in unfamiliar surroundings, for example, or anywhere they don’t feel comfortable.
“We’re excited to bring new technology and better experiences to the gas station,” said Eric Carmichael, America’s fuels marketing manager at ExxonMobil, in a statement. “We build and seek out technology that will wow our consumers, providing both ease of use and security.”