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.

A trip to the gas station isn’t usually what you’d call an enjoyable experience. It can be unappealing and inefficient – the exact opposite of what you’d expect from a “convenient” store. But Kwik Chek, a convenience store chain with almost 40 locations throughout Texas and Oklahoma, is striving to live up to its name. 

Introducing: PetroZone Mobile Commerce, a location-based and payment-centered mobile app; and PetroZone Retail Fuels Module, a cloud-based point-of-sale system that can integrate with fuel pumps and office financial systems. By partnering with P97 and Microsoft Axure IoT services, Kwik Chek has been able to create these two solutions and bring location-based fuel retail into the mobile age. With almost $700 billion in sales in 2013, the convenience store industry has tremendous opportunity to leverage the digital space and capitalize on efficiencies.

“ is really transforming the whole experience.”

– Kevin Smartt, CEO of Kwik Chek

P97 and the PetroZone suite of solutions will not only allow consumers to use their smartphones to pay for their gas at the pump – streamlining checkout and making it more secure in the process – but it will also provide Kiwk Chek and other retailers with valuable insights into their consumers’ behavior. The PetroZone app provides a convenient way to have a 1-to-1 relationship with the consumer, promoting loyalty. “Having customers’ data really helps us offer them the best possible service, customized to their preferences and needs. It’s really transforming the whole experience,” says Kevin Smartt, CEO of Kwik Chek.

View the whitepaper here.

Learn more about the revolutionary PetroZone solutions here.

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