Sarah Mishkin:

“One car executive called me and said, ‘We really want to make the car your wallet’,” says Doug Brown, head of mobile for FIS, a maker of banking and payments software.

Thanks in part to the launch of Apple’s mobile payment app Apple Pay, retailers and shoppers are increasingly using mobile payments, industry members say. That is leading to greater interest from merchants and tech companies in developing new ways to buy goods, including car dashboard apps.

The revolution in mobile payments happens to coincide with a race by car and tech giants to make cars smarter. Consumers increasingly want their cars to have the same sophisticated technology, such as maps and music apps, as their smartphones.

Most new cars have minicomputers embedded in dashboards that can run apps or link up with smartphones to let drivers control their phones through the car’s touchscreen. Apple and Google have both released software for cars in the past two years, while manufacturers from Detroit to Tokyo are developing in-house connected car systems.

“This is where you start to get the pieces coming together,” says Ramón Martín, Visa’s global head of merchant solutions. “New commerce opportunities exist.”