Nissan Motor Co. is seeking mobility opportunities for its new Visa co-branded credit card, Mobility Finance has learned.
The Visa consumer credit card, which was released May 4, is a creation between Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. (NMAC) and Synchrony Financial. The card allows cardholders to earn points toward the purchase or lease of a new Nissan or certified pre-owned vehicle, automotive services, accessories, or redeemed in the form of a statement credit.
But the Japanese automaker is also looking at use-cases for the card within mobility services, even though Nissan does not have any investments or partnerships with rideshares.
“Longer-term, the cards give us a consumer touchpoint that falls perfectly at the intersection of new mobility services and payment innovation,” Darla Turner, a Nissan Group North American spokesperson, told Mobility Finance. “Development work on a variety of new consumer services is underway across our companies, and the cards give us a platform that can be leveraged in many of those initiatives.”
Nissan is one of the few automakers with no mobility partnerships on the books, save for a multi-year partnership with Enterprise CarShare, available on 90 college campuses across the United States. In fact, the company has publicly said that it has no interest in ridesharing services.
“We’re not going to facilitate this trend,” Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan and Renault SA, said last year in a published report, adding that he thinks Uber and Lyft will continue to grow, but that he did not see a future in which a significant portion of cars sold globally will be shared.
“The trend going against that is connectivity of the car, which is going to lead to the personalization of the space inside the car,” he said. “If you’re in a place which is like your office or like your room, you’re less likely to share it.”
However, it is notable that Nissan is working on autonomous vehicles, in partnership with Mobileye. The automaker is currently testing its vehicles in Tokyo, Silicon Valley, and London. Nissan aims to have commercially-viable autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020, meaning it is more likely than not that a branded credit card could be used within Nissan’s autonomous vehicles, rather than a sudden partnership with a mobility service company.
But before autonomous cars are available, there are internet-connected vehicles, which would make in-car credit card transactions easier and more probable. Nissan currently offers an internet-connected option for select new vehicles, which provides notifications to drivers when they need to take the car in for maintenance or service. The option began rolling out in Japan and India this year, with planned deployment in more markets continuing through 2020 — indicating that in-car use of credit cards could begin before the deployment of autonomous vehicles.
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