Waze already helps drivers find nearby gas stations, but now the app prompts the payment of fuel at participating gas stations -- Exxon, Mobil, and Shell -- through contactless payments.
The nationwide rollout of its Fuel Payments and rewards systems, announced Thursday, enabled consumers to link from the Waze app to fuel partner apps.
“The Fuel Payments integration has been in the works for a while and was a truly cross-functional effort for our team, including engineering, advertising, our volunteer Map Editors, and more, all working together for many months to bring this to life for our users,” said Andrew Kandel, North America head of sales at Waze. “Our main goal with the Fuel Payments integration was to display the prompt before the payment process starts, but not until we’re sure that the user has actually arrived at the gas station and, of course, is at a complete stop.”
Waze ran internal experiments that showed that for the feature to be most useful the company had under three minutes to display the payment prompt to users.
“Conducting a pilot in a smaller number of locations and expanding overtime gave us the opportunity to further develop the technology to accurately display the Fuel Payments prompt only when drivers are stopped at the pump,” he said.
Kandel also said working closely with its community of volunteer Map Editors to help develop the feature was invaluable for validating partners’ locations and making sure the Fuel Payments prompt would only appear when drivers were stopped at gas stations that had the feature available.
Rewards are earned through the corresponding loyalty programs through ExxonMobil for either Exxon, Mobil, or Shell.
If the driver does not have the fuel partner’s app installed, the Waze integration will direct them to download it from their device’s app store. After payment, users are redirected back to Waze for a seamless experience.
The Fuel Payments integration can complement other ads brands that run on Waze, he said. This integration allows fuel brands to reach drivers as they pull into stations and use their digital and contactless payments solutions.
For example, CPG brands that may sell products in convenient stores that also sell gas.