Posted By

Aaron Mireles


Before Don Frieden started his company, gas stations hadn’t innovated their payment technology
since 1997. He knew that needed to change.

Original Post | Innovationmap

Before Don Frieden started his company, gas stations hadn't innovated their payment technology since 1997. He knew that needed to change.

P97, founded in 2012, exists to use innovative technologies to simplify and energize daily journeys, Frieden explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast.

The fast-growing company — which has nearly 200 employees, most of whom work from Houston — has raised over $100 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase, most recently closing a $40 million series C round earlier this year. This funding has supported P97 as its expanded its technology, even expanding outside of gas station payments and into other sectors, like consumer packaged goods, mobile app development, and alternative fuel sources.

Part of what P97 is focused on too is adapting new technologies, including biometrics, and applying them to the payments world. Voice-enabled payments is something in particular that Frieden is working on.

"One of the things we’re most excited about is voice enable payments through our partnership with Amazon's Alexa," he explains. "The landscape of payments at gas stations underwent this next revolution, and we're using cutting-edge speech recognition and artificial intelligence to allow drivers to pay for fuel just using their voice.

"It makes the process faster and more efficient, and is completely hands-free," he continues, explaining that biometrics are also safer compared to card transactions. "From this time I say, 'Alexa, buy gas,' six seconds later, the gas would be turned on and any loyalty rewards I have would be applied, all from the comfort of my car."

Frieden shares more about the future of P97, payments, and the energy industry as it intersects with P97 — including the future of alternative fuels — on the podcast. Listen to the interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.

MasterCard announced a global partnership with mobile commerce provider P97 to make it easier for consumers to find, buy and save on gasoline and convenience store purchases through their mobile phones.

Last year, in the U.S. alone, consumers pumped more than 135 billion gallons of gasoline, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse. As trips to the pump continue to increase, along with competitive pricing strategies, fuel companies and store operators are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate their services and build loyalty among their customers.

The MasterCard fuel solution will leverage a wide range of MasterCard’s marketing and technical assets, and will utilize P97’s PetroZone® mobile commerce platform to integrate to existing gas station infrastructure. The new solution will enable fuel companies to develop innovative mobile apps for consumers to search for and navigate to the nearest or preferred gas station, make fast and simple mobile payments at the pump and convenience store, and receive personalized offers for in-store purchases.

“We know that when a consumer pulls up to the pump, they are not thinking about making a payment. They just want to get what they need and go as fast as possible,” said Felix Marx, executive vice president of Mobile Transaction Solutions at MasterCard. “This is one way that we’re helping our customers create safer and richer experiences to deliver exactly that.”

“This is an exciting new chapter for P97 with the combination of our PetroZone® mobile commerce platform and the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service to deliver more secure mobile payments,” said Donald Frieden, president and CEO of P97. “With the addition of other MasterCard services, such as MasterPass, we believe this solution will deliver the best possible mobile experience for the retail fuels market and their consumers.”

About MasterCard

MasterCard(NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About P97

P97 Networks provides secure cloud based mobile commerce and digital marketing solutions for the convenience retail and fuels marketing industry under the brand name PetroZone®. P97’s mCommerce solutions enhance the ability of convenience store operators, marketers, and oil companies to attract and retain customers by providing technology that securely connects millions of individual mobile phones and connected cars with identity and geo-location based software technology to create truly unique connected-consumer experiences. P97’s software personalizes the “find-buy-save” experience for every mobile consumer. For more information follow us on Twitter @p97networks or visit

MasterCard & P97 Global Partnership FAQs

Mobile Pay Made Easy

What are the benefits of the PetroZone mobile commerce solution?
P97’s PetroZone is an innovative mobile app giving consumers a quick and easy way to pay for fuel and in-store purchases with their smartphone. The solution enables c-stores and fuel retailers to drive brand loyalty and preference by providing their customers a better, quicker, more convenient customer experience. Real-time, personalized coupons and offers provides incentivizes for consumers to make in store purchases, including fresh foods, drinks and consumer packaged goods.

More Payment Options

Is this agreement exclusive to MasterCard payments? As a merchant, what if I have other payment partners or card providers?
The MasterCard – P97 agreement will increase your mobile payment options. P97 will continue to market PetroZone and MasterCard’s Fuel solution will leverage P97’s site system integrations. The PetroZone mobile commerce platform supports many payment choices including proprietary cards, branded debit and credit cards, fleet cards, private label ACH and integrations to front-end processors, payment networks, and many different mobile wallet options.

Mobile Commerce Platform and Value Proposition

What is the value proposition to merchants?
P97’s PetroZone platform enables merchants to increase wallet share (consumer spending) through the introduction of personalized digital offers, rewards, push-marketing, and incentives programs.

And value proposition for consumers?
Consumers have to option to use their smart phone for payments, including their choice of wallet or payment credentials, in order to maximize savings through the use of location based offers, promotions, and reward programs offered by leading innovative retail merchants.

Mobile Wallet Options

Do I have to use a MasterCard “mobile wallet?”
While the PetroZone mobile commerce platform supports many different mobile wallets and phone platforms, including those from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, companies using the PetroZone solution will also have access to the MasterPass wallet.

Transaction Fees

How does the agreement address mobile transaction fees?
P97’s PetroZone mobile commerce platform supports many different transaction types through the major card networks, as well as, alternative payment networks like private label ACH, fleet, and pre-paid platforms. By leveraging MasterCard’s Digital Enablement Service (MDES), the MasterCard – P97 solution will optimize security and provide new economic benefits for merchants and oil companies depending on the specific payment offerings for consumers.

Secure Mobile Payments

What makes the PetroZone mobile commerce solution a breakthrough for secure mobile payments?
P97’s PetroZone mobile payment processing application leverages multi-factor authentication built on the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing platform and payment tokens to secure primary cardholder account information. With the combination of MasterCard’s Digital Enablement Services (MDES) platform and P97’s POS and site system integration capabilities, site-level payment authorization will be provide by MDES. MDES, is a platform through which a mobile phone or other connected device receives a unique MasterCard account number, or “token” which includes EMV-based technology to make every transaction more secure. Tokenization eliminates the need to store payment data such as plastic credit card numbers across multiple servers. P97 and MasterCard are working together to add new layers of security in order to further prevent fraud.

Adoption and Promotion

How is this partnership and new mobile payments solution going to be promoted and sold?

Together, MasterCard, P97, and retail fuel companies will promote this new mobile payment system to merchants and consumers. These efforts will combine business-to-business communications, point-of-sale signage and integrated digital marketing to drive consumer awareness, adoption, and use.

Site System Integration

What point-of-sale (POS) and electronic payment systems does PetroZone support?
P97’s PetroZone works with a wide variety of POS and electronic payment systems from industry leaders such as VeriFone, Wayne, Gilbarco, Fiscal, and Microsoft. PetroZone also supports above-site payment authorization and tokenization to offer the latest and broadest payments capabilities in the market today. Please contact P97 to discuss specific systems and how we can support your company’s integration and scalability requirements.

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