Hyundai is working on a proof-of-concept in-car payment system with automotive software supplier Xevo. With four initial commercial partners in Chevron, Texaco, Applebee's and ParkWhiz, a future owner could use the Hyundai Digital Wallet to buy gas or food-to-go, or reserve and pay for a parking spot without leaving the vehicle. Perhaps even more important than those three, Hyundai has trialed payments with coffee chains, too. The service would be tied to the carmaker's Blue Link app suite and would store an owner's payment details to enable transactions.

The carmaker still has big questions to answer about the service, such as whether the digital wallet will be contained within the mobile Blue Link app, or be integrated into the vehicle's infotainment software. An impending pilot program will determine the best deployment, but that means implementation in consumer vehicles remains awhile away.

Hyundai's announcement moves it into a space slowly gaining more entrants. Ford's FordPay, launched two years ago, contains a digital wallet used for paying for service and parking, and even for keeping up with the car note. Last year, Jaguar partnered with Shell to provide in-car payments in three Jaguar vehicles. This year, Chevrolet did the same as part of the GM Marketplace, also with Shell.

Hyundai's digital wallet comes not long after the South Korean carmaker announced another infotainment-based software partner. In April, Hyundai hooked up with Verisk, a company that manages a data exchange providing driving data to insurance companies. The partnership enables a Hyundai driver to share his driving habits and be assessed a Verisk Driving Score. The score would be taken into account for usage-based insurance programs offered by companies like Allstate and Progressive.

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