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.

Our company recently announced several strategic partnerships of note. Here is a synopsis of the bottom line value to our customers and ecosystem partners. 

CHASE Strategic Partnership (Mass Adoption) – About 16% of consumer spend on credit/debit cards happens at the gas pump (over 40 million transactions per day in the US alone) and CHASE has more than 30% of the debit/credit card holder base in their portfolio (even higher through their clearXchange partnership with BOA and Wells Fargo). P97 will provide integration with the leading retail fuel systems and POS  to enable geo-location based mobile payments at the pump and in-store payments at the POS for the new Chase Pay wallet and MCX merchant companies.


MasterCard Global Partnership (Global Reach)- This new relationship gives P97 global reach with a world class payments provider. Mutual clients will benefit from P97’s PetroZone mobile commerce and marketing platform with multifactor authentication for identity and security combined with MasterCard’s Digital Enablement Service (MDES) and MasterPass solutions.


Verifone Strategic Partnership (Rapid Deployment) – P97 was recently announced as Verifone’s first certified mobile partner for the Retail Fuels and Convenience Stores industry. The significance of this announcement is two fold – 1) Verifone has ~50% point-of-sale market share in the U.S. market for retail fueling and 2) our joint work with the Conexxus standards body allows us to leverage the Mobile Working Group API which means retail merchants running Verifone’s Commander Electronic Payment Server can turn on PetroZone mobile commerce without a site visit (remote rapid deployment, low cost, and highly secure).


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