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Waze just added a brand new feature you’ll never want to drive without

Published Aug 13th, 2020 1:39PM EDT
Waze New Features
Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Adobe
  • Waze announced a new feature for its mobile app, support for contactless payments at partner gas stations in the US.
  • Google teamed up with ExxonMobil and Shell to bring payment integration into the Waze navigation experience.
  • Stopping at these gas stations while navigating with Waze will trigger a prompt to pay for gas using the ExxonMobil or Shell apps, and the Waze navigation experience will then automatically resume once payment is completed.

Waze introduced several features a few months ago to help drivers navigate the coronavirus pandemic. The new additions to the app were specifically tailored to meet the needs of people in regions experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. The app pinpointed food distribution centers on the map and helped drivers identify stores that supported drive-thru and curbside pickups. Later, the company announced a new feature that can help essential workers find parking spaces easier, thanks to integration with third-party services.

Google hasn’t stopped adding new features to its second most popular navigation app. Waze on Wednesday unveiled a safety feature that should be available in all navigation apps: warnings for railroad crossings. And on Thursday, the company unveiled another neat tool that can improve driving, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic: Support for contactless payments from right inside the app.

Waze partnered with SpotHero and ParkWhiz in the US a few months ago to bring parking information to the app. It’s now doing something similar with ExxonMobil and Shell to allow drivers to pay for gas from inside the app. The feature would be useful at any time, not just during a pandemic. But considering social distancing guidelines that are in place all over the world, paying for stuff with as little interaction with other people as possible is definitely a great benefit of using Waze. The feature will also help you touch fewer surfaces, like pump keypads you’d need to press when paying with your regular card.

Waze contactless payment for gas via the Shell app. Image source: Waze

Unfortunately, the feature won’t work with all gas stations that you’ll find on the road. As you might suspect, you need to refuel at Exxon, Mobil, or Shell stations to take advantage of the feature. When you park your car at one of these gas stations, the Waze app will display a notification prompting you to pay for gas with either the ExxonMobil or Shell contactless payment apps. You’ll keep earning rewards through their respective programs as well, but you’ll need to download the apps from the App Store or Google Play to take advantage of the feature.

Waze contactless payment for gas via the ExxonMobil app. Image source: Waze

Once your payment is complete, you’ll be redirected back to the Waze app so you can resume your trip. The feature will be available in the US only, so international Waze users looking for similar integration will have to keep waiting.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.