Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) announced that Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram drivers will now be able to pay for fuel and services through Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) UConnect Market at Shell-branded sites across the United States. Thanks to the tie up with Fiat Chrysler, the new e-commerce platform will help customers locate the nearest Shell gas station and securely pay for fuel and services through their in-vehicle infotainment systems.
FCA launched its In-vehicle Uconnect Market commerce platform to make on-demand reservations and to purchase products and services directly from the vehicle touchscreen in June 2019 and deployed it in the second half of 2019,
The Shell Pay & Save within UConnect Market will offer speed, convenience and fuel reward savings. Customers can conveniently pay for fuel and get back on the road in no time by adding payment information on Uconnect Market.
In order to lure customers, Shell will be bumping up rewards for “New Fuel Rewards” accounts, which will be entitled to receive instant gold status for the first six months and 5 additional cents per gallon in savings through 29 February 2020 on payments made via Uconnect Market. This will translate to total savings of 10 cents per gallon compared to the usual 5 cents per gallon for gold status members. Earnings for silver status members will increase to 8 cents per gallon from the usual 3 cents per gallon under the Fuel Rewards program.
Rationale behind the partnership
Following the 2018 deal with General Motors pertaining to in-car payments, the tie-up with Chrysler highlights Shell’s aim to tap opportunities in the space and offer better retail experience to customers. With the rise in the number of connected cars across the United States, Shell and its partners will be able to carve out a large addressable base for themselves and make Shell one of the most reachable options for in-car fuel payments.
Other players are not far behind on digital payment innovation – Amazon, ExxonMobil and Fiserv have teamed up to introduce the industry’s first voice-activated fuel purchase partnership that will allow Alexa-based voice payments within Alexa-enabled vehicles. Alexa is available in a large number of new vehicles, including those made by Toyota, Ford, Lexus and Audi.
Although both represent different approaches toward fuel payment, voice technology could be a little more convenient than a touchscreen option, impending Uconnect Market’s adoption.