IBM and Visa want the cars of the future to become wallets on wheels.

Fresh from the news that Jaguar is enabling drivers to pay for fuel without having to queue at the filling station, Visa and technology firm IBM have joined forces to expand the concept of making a secure payment to include the ability to use your car instead of cash.

Jaguar’s partnership with Shell is currently limited to using an in-car app to pay for fuel at a suitably ‘connected’ filling station. And while the concept of tapping an app icon and receiving an emailed receipt later sounds mildly futuristic, IBM and Visa’s plans are considerably more ambitious.

So confident that the meeting of the cashless society and the much talked about ‘Internet of Things’ will be the roaring success futurologists think it will be, the two firms are collaborating as part of IBM’s $200 million investment in a new Munich-based development hub.

Crucially, the newly minted partnership claims it can support payments and e-commerce on the forecast 20 billion devices analysts expect to be in circulation by 2020. And that includes the not-so-humble car.

One plausible scenario is where you drive your new car from the dealership and it automatically starts logging the miles you travel, the journeys you make and charges your ‘mobility account’ according. There will be no need to make a manual payment at the end of the month or even set up an account - that will have been done when you signed the original purchase agreement.

And, ahead of any servicing, the car will ‘talk’ to the dealership, alerting it to any faults or worn parts, and remind you to pay a visit at the appointed time where any required parts will have arrived after being ordered in advance. Your mobility account is again charged, and you’re free to stop by the local drive-through coffee shop where there’s no fumbling for change as the coffee shop will bill the car directly for your tall soya latte.

Source: USA Today