With digital and physical commerce melding, Fiserv Inc. intends to position its Carat platform as the engine to enable providers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit and merchants to process transactions across both channels. Fiserv took a big step in that direction last week when it announced it will enable petroleum giant ExxonMobil to deliver new commerce experiences at the pump through the newly enhanced Google Pay mobile application.
Fiserv plans also to drive offers through the digital wallet, says Nandan Sheth, head of global digital commerce for Fiserv.
For example, a consumer getting gas at an ExxonMobil station can open her Google Pay wallet and, through a voice command, activate the pump from within her automobile. After gassing up, the consumer can pay for the purchase using Google Pay from inside her car. Upon completion of the transaction, ExxonMobil can push offers, rewards, or dynamic content to the customer that entice her to make a purchase in the station’s convenience store or make a future purchase.
“Carat brings together the physical and digital worlds to enable experience providers (such as Google Pay) and merchants to push the customer’s commerce journey beyond the buy button,” Sheth says “We are seeing demand from our merchants to help in this journey.”
Carat is a suite of solutions for providing enhanced commerce across multiple channels and devices. Feature sets within the Carat platform include scan and go, order ahead, voice command, endless aisle, and connected car. Fiserv is looking to build a brand around Carat for what is calls “omnichannel” solutions. Fiserv has enacted a similar branding strategy for its Clover point-of-sale platform for small businesses and restaurants.
On the merchant side of the equation, Fiserv is initially targeting petroleum companies, quick service restaurants, and grocery stores for creating new user capabilities that can be leveraged across the digital and physical channels. In the case of grocery stores, the technology is best suited for express checkout lanes. “The technology is more focused on enhancing quick-purchase experiences on the go,” Sheth says.
Fiserv is open to supporting other digital wallets and social media platforms. “Our relationship with ExxonMobil and Google Pay is not a one-off deal,” Sheth says. “We feel there are many experience providers and merchants that can use our technology to enhance the customer journey across the digital and physical channels to make purchases more convenient and drive repeat purchases.”