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.

Will we see you in Chicago next week? We’re counting down the days until we showcase our latest technologies and ideas at the largest gathering of convenience store professionals in the world. We look forward to the NACS Show every year as an opportunity to announce new projects and partnerships, and to highlight what we’ve been up to over the past year. 

PetroZone Dash Demo with Honda Connected Car

In 2016, inside sales represented 35% of the sales mix while fuel sales accounted for 65%, according to NACS. The decreased number of consumers entering c-stores after fueling up has significantly impacted in-store sales. There’s a constant flow of advice telling c-store owners how to get consumers inside, but what if we brought the c-store to the consumer?

We’re excited to demo a pilot program, PetroZone Dash, a connected car platform that allows consumers to order c-store food and products from their car’s infotainment system to be delivered curbside, er, carside.

We’re teaming up with Honda Innovations to demo the Dash pilot program. We’ll have a Honda vehicle in the P97 booth so consumers will get the full Dash experience. Once a product is ordered from the car’s dash, the item will then be delivered instantly to the consumer’s car, via a Dasher.

The Honda Infotainment System stores the digital wallet in a PetroZone app adapted for the car’s head unit. In that infotainment system, customers will be able to pick a pump, pay for fuel, receive offers, and order food delivered to the car using the Dash program.

The program addresses the challenge of providing a mutually beneficial business case for retailers who seek high-margin product purchases inside the store, while maximizing the oil company’s goals of increasing fuel sales and successfully reaching on-the-go consumers.

Where to Find Us

P97 and our partners will be located in South Hall A in McCormick Place, booth #4254.

P97 Networks NACS Booth Location

We will also be demoing PetroZone technology in the following booths, so be sure to stop by.

  • Verifone: booth # 4257
  • Gilbarco: booth # 4141
  • Comdata: booth # 3754
  • NCR: booth # 4267
  • Fiscal: booth # 4351

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions or would like to chat ahead of NACS, get in touch here.

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