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.

The new Liberty Pay app is now available to download for Apple and Android devices. Liberty Pay features a station locator and enables secure mobile payments at the pump and in store. 

"Mobile payment usage continues to gain customer adoption and is forecasted to grow tremendously," Don Frieden, P97's CEO said. "Today, 97% of people under the age of 45 and 68% of people over age 65 own a smartphone. Considering the fact that close to 60% of consumers buy gasoline at least once a week, the Liberty Pay mobile app provides the opportunity to expand contact with Liberty customers."

PetroZone is Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) compliant, and utilizes Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, with multifactor authentication to secure cardholder data. Liberty said that mobile payments are generally more secure than EMV.

Liberty Pay does not require the installation of Near Field Communication panels, scanners or other hardware at the fuel dispenser.