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.

Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts – February 21, 2017 – Gulf Oil today announced the launch of a new mobile payment application, Gulf Pay. The new offering, powered by P97’s PetroZone mobile commerce platform, will enable Gulf customers to navigate to the nearest Gulf gas station, pay for fuel at the pump, and purchase products inside the convenience store utilizing fast, simple, and secure mobile payment technology." 

The Gulf Pay app offers a convenient, secure, and seamless shopping experience for customers by allowing payment authorization directly from the comfort of their vehicle. Users can also use the app to locate the closest Gulf station, access live pricing and reliable directions, and view station offerings.

“Customer experience is a priority at Gulf as we aim to constantly evolve with our customers’ needs,” said Todd O’Malley, Chief Commercial Officer at Gulf Oil. “Mobile payment technology is changing the retail experience and the Gulf Pay app enhances transaction security and further delivers on our commitment to provide high-quality products and services in a fast and convenient environment.”

With security at the core of the mobile purchasing experience, Gulf customers can feel confident because each Gulf Pay transaction is authorized securely.

“Gulf has always aimed to remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent fraud at the pumps and in stores while providing our customers with an exceptional experience,” said Margaret McDonnell, Senior Director of Credit Card Operations at Gulf Oil. “Mobile payment is a contactless transaction, meaning that it is extremely effective against today’s most commonly used fraud techniques.”

The Gulf Pay app will also provide exclusive offers on both fuel and in-store products at participating locations, and will allow customers to tailor in-app preferences to fit their specific needs.

“Our partnership with Gulf Oil is a huge leap forward for the retail fueling industry,” said Donald Frieden, Chief Executive Officer of P97. “With their investment in PetroZone, Gulf will be able to increase the effectiveness of their marketing spend by delivering relevant digital offers resulting in more meaningful relationships with consumers.”

Gulf plans to expand the Gulf Pay app by teaming up with leading mobile wallets and technologies. Gulf has signed an agreement to partner with Mastercard and will accept Masterpass through the app. This partnership will further improve offerings, capabilities and the payment experience for Gulf and Masterpass customers.

The pilot program will launch at Gulf retail fuel locations throughout select New England New York markets in the first half of 2017 with plans to extend the app’s availability into additional markets in 2018. To learn more about the benefits of Gulf Pay, and to stay up-to-date on the launch and participating stations in your area, visit

About Gulf Oil
Gulf Oil is a diverse refined products terminaling, storage and logistics business and a leading distributor of motor fuels in the United States. Gulf owns and operates a network of 17 terminals with over 14 million barrels of refined product storage capacity. With its premier terminaling and logistics platform, Gulf has access to the Mid-Continent, Gulf Coast and the New York Harbor supply hubs, which translates into competitive and diverse supply options for customers. More information about Gulf Oil can be found at

About P97
P97 Networks creates mobile commerce solutions for the retail fueling industry. By combining a cloud-based mobile commerce platform and a contextual commerce engine, P97’s PetroZone® delivers a powerful, integrated solution that empowers marketers, merchants, and oil companies to attract and retain consumers. Agile and robust web services built on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud allow P97’s technology to enhance customers’ current mobile solutions, or provide a fully integrated 360-degree platform with a white labeled mobile application. P97’s mCommerce solutions securely connect to millions of individual mobile phones and connected cars to create unique mobile experiences.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nikki Fales, Gulf Oil,

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