Telus, BlackBerry Bank on Car IQ’s new connected car payment platform


A company’s vehicle-based payment platform in Oakland, Calif., Is catching the attention of a few heavyweights at the Canadian company.

BlackBerry Limited of Waterloo announced its partnership with Car IQ, a FinTech connected car start-up, while TELUS Ventures announced its participation in a Series B funding round that raised CA $ 18.7 (15 million US dollars) for Car IQ.

“BlackBerry IVY allows us to fully integrate our solution on a common platform in the vehicle. “

Announced on August 11, the round was led by venture capital firm Forté Ventures. With offices in Atlanta and Silicon Valley, Forté Ventures collaborates and co-invests with strategic corporate partners in technology companies in diverse industrial sectors in the United States and Canada.

Other new investors included Ally Ventures, BlackBerry and State Farm Ventures. They joined existing investors Alpana Ventures, Avanta Ventures, Citi Ventures, Quest Venture Partners and Scrum Ventures.

Neither TELUS Ventures nor BlackBerry have disclosed the amount of their investments. Funding closed on July 22.

Mario Mele, vice president of strategy at TELUS Ventures, told BetaKit that TELUS ‘strategic venture capital arm invests in companies that tackle LOT’s biggest challenges. Mele said CAR IQ is tackling the legacy, costly and inflexible 50-year-old payment offerings by creating a machine-centric solution that is more secure, easier to integrate, and connects directly to any payment platform.

According to Mele, TELUS decided to invest because the company believes that “Car IQ’s innovation will be widely applicable in the smart mobility arena and will help TELUS advance this strategy and other potential business partnerships.

Car IQ’s contactless payment network enables connected cars and trucks to pay merchants and service providers without a credit card. With Car IQ, vehicles can pay for a wide variety of services, including refueling, tolls, parking, etc., without the need to add additional hardware to the vehicle.

The funds will allow Car IQ to expand into new markets and add functionality to its existing technology.

Car IQ’s patent-pending ‘Know Your Machine’ technology is accepted by payment networks and forms the basis of the first automatic payment network that uniquely authenticates vehicles, enabling direct vehicle-initiated transactions and payments .

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“The global embedded payments market was close to $ 2 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to around $ 9 billion by 2029,” said Sterling Pratz, CEO and founder of Car IQ.

The company’s AI-based authentication technology will use BlackBerry’s IVY, a scalable, cloud-connected software platform that runs inside in-vehicle systems, but is managed from the cloud .

“BlackBerry IVY allows us to fully integrate our solution on a common platform in the vehicle, which allows us not only to provide the highest level of security, but also to significantly reduce complexity for banks and merchants.” , said Pratz.

Car IQ payment network transactions have security features built into the payment flow and are supported by patent-pending technology that allows banks and merchants to authorize vehicle purchases of all types. services independently.

“We believe automatic banking is the future, where not only vehicles, but any IoT device will be able to connect and pay autonomously. “

Car IQ is targeting the $ 650 billion spent annually on vehicle services using credit cards, debit cards, and ACH, where people need to complete and manage the transaction. Existing payment methods are expensive, difficult to reconcile, and prone to fraud. Customers cannot authenticate the actual vehicle, vehicle service requirements, or validate that the vehicle has received billed service. This creates security risks for the fleet operator, the merchant and the payment network, according to Pratz.

Global automotive technology analyst firm SBD Automotive notes that more than 6,000 automotive and mobility technology startups have been launched over the past decade. In a 2021 item, SBD pointed out that the previous decade of collaboration between the tech industry and the automotive industry focused on digital services.

The technology consultants say that “the next decade will be largely focused on non-consumer technologies: machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, edge computing, containerization and big data all play an important role in the how vehicles will be designed and developed for the foreseeable future.

It remains to be seen whether BlackBerry’s solution will ensure the security of Car IQ’s systems.

Upstream Security, a company specializing in automotive cybersecurity, rated in a 2020 report that since 2016, the number of cybersecurity incidents involving connected cars has increased by 605%. In 2019, the majority of incidents involved remote attacks.

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And over the past decade, the top three incidents were 31% auto theft / break-ins; control of automotive systems at 27%; and privacy and data breaches account for 23% of attacks.

Upstream noted, however, that the connected automotive industry “is taking a multi-layered security approach: this involves new regulations and standards, security by design, on-board and cloud-based automotive cybersecurity solutions.”

For its part, Car IQ indicated that automobiles will not be the sole driver of the company’s growth in the future.

Pratz said: “Our solution introduces the next generation of contactless payments, taking the logical step of connecting machines directly to banks and service providers and eliminating legacy processes that are difficult to manage or lead to fraud.

“We believe automatic banking is the future, where not only vehicles, but any IoT device will be able to connect and pay autonomously, and it is our technology that will make that possible.

About Matthew R. Dailey

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