Honda teams with Visa for in-car payment system

U.S. credit card giant Visa and Japanese automaker Honda Motor are developing a system to let drivers pay for transactions using their Internet-connected cars, the two companies announced at the Mobile World Congress here.

The idea is to turn the car into a platform that drivers can use in an easy, secure way to pay directly for items like gas, parking and tolls from a dashboard display. Field trials will begin in the U.S. this year with the goal of having a system ready in two to five years.

Honda Developer Studio, the automaker’s Silicon Valley base that develops applications and services for cars with wireless Internet connectivity, has led the writing of apps that can utilize Visa Token Service, the payment protocol developed by Visa for mobile digital gadgets.

By installing these apps in automotive information terminals, drivers can use their cars to conduct transactions. One such app could alert the driver when the car is low on gas, direct the driver to a nearby station, interface with the station, give the driver options for how much gas to get, and then pay for the gas once the tank has been filled.

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