Posted By

Isabela Ortiz


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 summer of 2022 has brought high temperatures and high gas prices. With the national average price of regular gasoline at historic highs of $4.57 per gallon, convenience retailers are seeing a decrease in in-store traffic and sales. According to a new survey released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), 59% of retailers say consumer traffic has decreased in their stores over the last three months. The survey also found that nearly half of all retailers (49%) also say that those shoppers coming inside the store are buying less compared to three months ago when gas prices were $1.50 a gallon lower. To combat this decrease in profit, convenience retailers are searching for new ways to bring shoppers back into the store.

Convenience Retail and Fuels Marketing Mobile Apps

One approach is offering discounts on fuel, merchandise, and food to shoppers who use the retailer’s mobile apps. According to NACS, more than 1 in 4 (29%) of retailers surveyed say they are offering cash discounts at the pump, and 31% are offering discounts for those who pay by app. Phillips 66, for example, has been promoting “Save up to 25¢ per gallon when you buy gas with the My Phillips 66® App”. In addition to saving money on fuel right away, their shoppers also have the opportunity to earn loyalty rewards they can apply towards future purchases. Given that inflation is headline news today, it’s no surprise that consumers are willing to download apps to unlock these discounts and rewards. The Convenience Experience Report from Bluedot found that the top reasons why surveyed consumers download gas or convenience store apps include discounts on gas (86%), earn and track loyalty points (57%), protection against credit card fraud (40%), makes pumping gas faster and easier (39%), and to track gas expenses and receipts (34%). Consumers are realizing the benefits of using a mobile app, and while many already have, it’s time for gas station and convenience store owners to start realizing the benefits too.

P97 Networks, a leading connected commerce company that serves the retail fuel and convenience industry, automotive OEMS and consumer packaged goods brands, has data that shows mobile apps help drive fuel sales and increase profitable in-store traffic for retailers. P97’s technology has been implemented globally across 66,000 locations and has helped their retail customers achieve a 132% uplift in fuel sales and a 108% uplift in basket size compared to industry averages. P97’s Consumer Engagement Platform enables allows retail fuel and convenience store operators to offer targeted discounts to their shoppers in a variety of ways. Push notifications, emails, SMS, in-app offers, and interstitials can be combined and deployed to send shoppers the best mix of offers on fuel and in-store items at the right time. With P97’s technology, engaging with and influencing consumers so they come into the store has never been easier. To learn more about P97’s solutions, visit and schedule a demo today.

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