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The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably had a profound, long-term, transformational effect on all businesses.It has accelerated the shift to online and cashless payments, due in part to increased social distancing, as well as the national and local lockdowns and restrictions and meant that many businesses have had to adapt quickly.
The biggest challenge on all businesses into 2021 will be how they continue to adapt and react to the ever changing new normal we are all experiencing. Therefore, in this article, I will focus on key trends in the industry for 2021 and upcoming winning strategies that will lead the omnichannel sphere across key mobility sectors, including electric vehicle (EV) charging, parking and transport.
The EV charging market is moving quickly and boasts attractive growth potential.EVs are becoming more popular, with registrations for EVs overtaking those of their diesel counterparts for the first time in European history this year. What’s more, forecasts indicate that by 2030, there will be almost 42 million public charging points deployed worldwide, as compared with 520,000 registered in 2019.
From our experience and expertise in this industry, we know that fuel and EV payments can present a complex challenge. The current alternating current (AC) based chargers are set to be replaced by their direct charging (DC) counterparts, but merchants must still be able to guarantee payment for the charging provider. Power always needs to be converted from AC to DC when charging an electric vehicle, the technical difference between AC charging and DC charging is whether the power gets converted outside or inside the vehicle.
By offering innovative payment solutions to this market segment, we enable service operators to incorporate payments smoothly into their omnichannel customer experience. We allow businesses to easily develop acceptance and provide a unique omnichannel strategy for EV charging payments. From proximity to online payments, it will support businesses by offering a unique hardware solution optimised for PSD2 and SCA. It will manage both near field communication (NFC) cards and payments from cards/smartphones, as well as a single interface to manage all payments, after sales support and receipt with ePortalande Receipts.
Reinventing the parking payments experience
The parking sectoris changing rapidly, due to technological developments, the demand for sustainability and the need for more flexibility.
Drivers are more self-reliant and empowered than ever before, having adopted technologies that work to make their life increasingly efficient. The pandemic has given rise to both ePayment and omnichannel solutions gaining in popularity due to ticketless access control based on number plate recognition or the tap-in/tap-out experience, as well as embedded payments or mobile solutions for street parking.
Since they have become routine, cashless, contactless and mobile or embedded payments are now preferred when it comes to completing the check-in and check-out process. They are a time-saver and a more seamless way to pay. Smart solutions help consider parking services more broadly as a part of overall mobility or shopping experience. Therefore, operators must rapidly adapt and scale new operational practices; accept electronic payment, update new contactless limits, introduce additional payments means, refund the user or even to reflect changing customer expectations to keep pace.
Mobility as a service (MaaS): the next step in transportation
The transport sector is undergoing a period of significant disruption, with new technologies, products and services fundamentally shifting customer expectations and opportunities.Due to the social distancing and lockdown measures, we have already seen a real change in public habits. In the last three months alone, we have seen commuter journeys across the globe reduce by at least 70%, while longer-distance travel has fallen by up to 90%. With it, cash withdrawals for payment has drastically reduced by 60%.
Open payments, alongside other technological advances, have unlocked vast new possibilities across multiple industries. Furthermore, travellers are expecting more as part of their basic service. Tap and pay is one of the biggest evolutions in consumer payments. Bringing ease and simplicity to everyday tasks, consumers have welcomed this development to the transport journey.
In-app payments are also on the rise, offering customers the ability to plan ahead and remain assured that they have everything they need, in one place, for every leg of their journey. Many local transport networks now have their own apps with integrated timetables, payments, and ticket download capabilities. These capabilities are being enabled by smaller more portable terminals for transport staff, and self-scanning ticketing devices are streamlining the process even further.
Ultimately, the end goal for many transport providers is MaaS – providing an easy and frictionless all-encompassing transport system that guides consumers through the whole journey, no matter what mode of travel they choose.Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation needs to reinvent itself and adapt its processes to meet the sizable shift and change of commuter habits that we have already seen and that we will continue to see in the foreseeable future.
Payment will remain the key orchestrator that will drive further developments in the transportation and MaaS ecosystems in 2021. At the same time, speed and convenience of payment is always needed, but also safety and data privacy remain key aspects in delivering superior customer experiences.
Many of the previous trends we sawemerging last year will continue to be accelerated by the ongoing pandemic. We expect to see an even greater shift towards a cashless society across all these key sectors, making the buying experience quicker and more convenient overall.
As a result, merchants and operators must make the consumer experience their top priority as trends shift towards simplicity and convenience, ensuring online and mobile payments processes are as secure as possible.
To find out more, visit www.ingenico.co.uk/omnichannel.