Online shopping is moving to a new frontier, and it starts with pizza.
Pizza Hut, Visa and Accenture are teaming up to test a system that lets you order and pay for your pie from your car, the companies announced Monday.
Visa is demonstrating a proof-of-concept car at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Here's how it works: Visa's checkout payment system is integrated into the dashboard of the car. The driver uses voice control technology to place an order by accessing Pizza Hut's menu. Visa and Pizza Hut then validate your payment card information, and the pizza gets cooking. As you drive up to the nearest outlet, the restaurant is alerted to your arrival using Bluetooth-enabled "beacon technology."
That's when your car acts as your payment card, sends your details to Pizza Hut's point-of-sale system, and the transaction is completed. Finally, your pizza is delivered to your car.
"All we’ve done is turned the automobile into a payment card," said Jim McCarthy, Visa's executive vice president of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships. The technology works in a manner similar to Apple Pay, he said, where a Visa token is required to complete the transaction. Accenture is responsible for building the technology system.
The company has run a pilot program with Hyundai, McCarthy said, and is in talks with other car manufacturers at the Mobile World Congress. Visa and Pizza Hut plan to test the concept over a three-month period at the retailer's northern California locations this spring.
Eventually, Visa hopes to expand the service so that you can shop while you drive, or pay for gas and parking on the go.
When it comes to security, the technology isn't any different from swiping your card at a terminal, according to McCarthy. Drivers would still have to opt in to the car manufacturer and network provider's privacy terms and conditions, he said.
This isn't the first experiment at combining retail with connected cars. Automakers debuted a slew of new concepts at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show, as my colleague Hayley Tsukayama reported.
For example, General Motors debuted a service that supplies drivers with coupons from sites like RetailMeNot for shopping discounts or lets them book last-minute hotel reservations using data from Priceline.com. GM conducted a pilot program for subscribers through OnStar, the carmaker's onboard service provider.