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Credit Cards on Four Wheels.

Paying with the Smartkey.

Enjoy now. Pay later.

That’s the simplified principle behind credit purchases, which are the foundation of cash-free payment using a plastic card, currently the most common method of payment. This is a brief look back at how the New York idea of “eating now and paying later” became a global standard. These days, just about anything could be a credit card, including your own car – or at least the car key.

Enjoy now. Pay later.

That’s the simplified principle behind credit purchases, which are the foundation of cash-free payment using a plastic card, currently the most common method of payment. This is a brief look back at how the New York idea of “eating now and paying later” became a global standard. These days, just about anything could be a credit card, including your own car – or at least the car key.

Good-bye Cash, hello Mobile Wallet.

It may feel good to hold money in your hands, but the practice of paying by cash is a present-day dinosaur. In the future, we’ll more and more frequently find ourselves at smart places and locations that communicate with us via beacons. This is the reality, which is why there are also “mobile wallets” to match. The complex registration process is just about extinct and the existing credit card is undergoing virtualization.

The mobile wallet will be the new technological interface and platform between credit card and retailers. Credit card companies will therefore continue to serve as the basis for purchasing products and services, but the purchase will require a smartphone. Smartphones are the key to the global network.

Car Wallet for Daimler.

It goes without saying that we at Daimler Business Innovation have put a lot of thought into the concept of mobile payment. Our cars already supply customer and vehicle data. It’s only the networking of such data and the usability of the services that require ongoing optimization. You’re probably aware of the function of your onboard computer and the “Mercedes me” app, which informs you when your card needs to be filled up or brought to the shop. The onboard computer is also capable of requesting roadside assistance, activating an emergency call, and thus taking charge in case of an accident.

Smart D-Tours.

A small detour: Imagine your car suggesting you take a break. But instead of guiding you to a rest stop, the onboard computer recommends an exceptional guesthouse. Once there, you get out of the car, fall into a chair on the terrace, and enjoy the sun. As you leave, you simply hold your smartkey up to the payment terminal and then get back on the road, feeling refreshed.

And because you’re in such a good mood, you ask your navigation device to select the most beautiful route, rather than the fastest. In a matter of seconds, you find your way through the alleys and enjoy a wonderful excursion. And at the end of the day, your insurance rewards you for your foresight and for being so relaxed behind the wheel. You’ve managed to take a break and save money.

Stay connected.

This kind of customer journey’s not only imaginable, but can also be implemented. So why not take advantage of the existing software structure for more connected services? We just need to get it to speak to us. We don’t need to become a leading credit company – we just need to be able to work with them. But we also need to promote the idea that this car in particular makes it easy to lead an uncomplicated life.

Stay connected.

This kind of customer journey’s not only imaginable, but can also be implemented. So why not take advantage of the existing software structure for more connected services? We just need to get it to speak to us. We don’t need to become a leading credit company – we just need to be able to work with them. But we also need to promote the idea that this car in particular makes it easy to lead an uncomplicated life.

It’s also just about impossible to imagine a world without smart devices, as they make life easy. But we can take advantage of this technology by incorporating our own interface into it – our “Mercedes me” app, which needs to work on both smartphones and smart glasses, as these will one day be a natural part of our everyday lives.

But don’t forget: as easy as a smartphone is to operate, a smartkey is much better in one important respect. Regardless of what you’re controlling with it, it never takes more than the press of a single button. And sometimes you simply have to have the key in your pocket.

Exploring New Frontiers.

Imagine your car telling you when the most affordable time to book a flight is or when it’s time to leave for an appointment. These days, we not only want to know where our car is parked, but also where we can park once we arrive. We shouldn’t see the car wallet as a payment system, but as a service cosmos, which we need to tailor to our customers’ requirements. After all, we’re not only pioneers in innovation, but also superstars when it comes to quality. Let’s live up to this standard.

This article was published by Business Innovation, Daimler’s lab for innovative business solutions. Please find us on Facebook, Twitter as well as Instagram and join the discussion in the Business Innovation Forum.