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Visa Seriously Wants You to Pay for Pizza and Gas With Your Car

The pilot test will let some lucky car owners order a Pizza Hut stuffed-crust gut-bomb from the comfort of their vehicles.

Composite image by Re/code
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Tap and pay, meet honk and pay.

Visa is showing off a connected car today, designed to let customers order and pay for food from the dashboard of a vehicle. The concept car, which was designed in collaboration with Accenture and Pizza Hut, will be shown off at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

I know this may sound like a joke, but Visa assures me it’s real. The pilot test will let some lucky car owners order a stuffed-crust gut-bomb from the comfort of their drivers’ seats. When the car arrives for pickup in a designated parking spot, bluetooth sensors will alert the Pizza Hut staff of its arrival so they can deliver the pizza to the car. A Visa exec said the company will soon announce the car manufacturers that are on board. It’s not yet clear how many locations will be part of the future pilot test, which will run for three months later this year in Northern California.

“It’s the start of what I hope will be a commercial rollout of not just a frictionless quick-serve restaurant experience but many other use cases,” said Bill Gajda, Visa’s senior vice president of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, noting pay-by-car opportunities at gas stations and parking meters, too.

The cars of lucky Pizza Hut patrons who are able to try this out won’t store actual Visa account information. Instead, they’ll store a placeholder ID called a token that is only matched up with their accounts after they pay and Pizza Hut sends it back to Visa for confirmation.

One warning: I forgot to ask what happens if a car thief with the munchies gets ahold of your vehicle. Though I imagine the system will use passwords of some sort that would thwart hungry bad guys.

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