Let’s face it, we knew that the moment Samsung and MasterCard partnered to create a fridge that makes payments that all hell would break loose. So it’s not surprising that a couple of weeks on an automotive company has integrated payments into their products. After all, we’re upgrading our public transport networks’ payment infrastructures so why wouldn’t we want to upgrade our private transport’s payment capabilities?
The car manufacturing giant Ford is introducing this year something called Ford Pass, which it describes nebulously as “a platform that reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer. FordPass aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans”.
Whilst that is not exactly the most apposite description, the focus of Ford Pass is mobility.
“FordPass members can talk to personal mobility assistants – FordGuides – night or day to help resolve their mobility challenges, whether finding a more efficient way to get around or booking parking before reaching their destination. Members can reserve and pay for advance parking, virtually build their ideal vehicle at one of several FordHubs globally, and receive rewards for FordPass membership loyalty.”
Part of this mobility push is the introduction of FordPay, a virtual wallet that can be used in the new MarketPlace which has partnered with the likes of ParkWhiz and Parkopedia to help people find and pay for parking more easily, and with FlightCar to borrow and share vehicles when they travel. In the future, services will include ride sharing, car sharing, multimodal transportation and more. All of these services can be paid for using FordPay.
“As we’ve studied the mobility challenges people face, we designed FordPass to help provide services that make consumers’ lives easier. FordPass is really about listening to people’s needs and developing ways to help them move better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO.
FordPass also includes the opening of FordHubs – further enforcing the idea that ‘Hub’ will be one of 2016 biggest and therefore most unbearable buzzwords – where consumers will be able to explore the company’s latest innovations, learn about its mobility services and experience exclusive events.
The first of these urban storefronts opens later this year at Westfield World Trade Center in New York, followed by FordHubs in San Francisco, London and Shanghai.
On-site FordGuides will help guests understand mobility options available in their cities, explore solutions for their mobility needs, view a real-time mobility map of their city, and experience special events, including new vehicle reveals.
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