Interview with Felix Blum, Chief of Back-End and Payment Solution at Wallbe. Felix is a payment expert who has accompanied several trends in cashless payment during his career.
Track two addresses fleets and vehicle fleets: Fleet cards will become established here, but in my opinion not on a card basis, but via apps.
A third strand – which is still in the distant future – comes from the car manufacturers themselves. They are currently creating the technical prerequisites for the car itself to identify the user. Tesla has already created a very well functioning solution at its own charging stations; purely the vehicle without any further aids carries out the identification.
“For public charging stations, such as hotels or via parking space managers, the integrated payment terminal is definitely one of the most important criteria.”
Semi-public charging stations, e.g. company car parks, do not always require a payment terminal and the associated card acceptance; they often use the billing method via user account or, in some cases, directly via payroll.
“e-Mobility user should not feel any difference with their e-car compared to the previous fueling process at fuel filling stations.”
On the operator side of the charging stations, the following applies: every e-mobility user is a potential customer and should be able to pay with his or her preferred means of payment.
At the same time, the terminal must also offer protection against manipulation.
In order to provide the whole thing with numbers: Currently, 95 % of all tenders require a payment terminal, which we can offer through our partnership with CCV. This is also in line with our basic strategy: e-mobility user should not feel any difference with their e-car compared to the previous fueling process at fuel filling stations, i.e. they should not have to change their user behaviour.
There will also be no mixed calculation, i.e. the price cannot vary during charging. This would be technically possible, but it cannot be depicted in terms of organisation and is also not practiced in the mineral oil sector.
With the taxes, the normal VAT rate is already due. However, I am sure that there will be more taxes on top. The state’s subsidies will not always remain; at some point, the state will also want some of it back financially.
Nationalised areas will also be created in the infrastructure. Currently, many research projects are the intellectual property of the state.
In other places, we work together with local partners, such as in Italy. Here the regulation applies that the sales of the charging station are directly transmitted the tax office. We implement such individual interfaces with partners and of course, we critically examine what is economically viable. Incidentally, India is the simplest: the user fills up the tank, the line is activated via the earthed plug, and the user pays at the cash desk. There is no complicated billing model or similar – the only requirement is that the electricity switches off after 20 minutes. Due to the lack of bureaucratic structures, the penetration of e-vehicles in India will be much faster. The government is also active here and promote the change from conventional vehicles to e-mobility.
This accessibility should also be reflected in the available, e.g. by making it possible to find charging stations and their current prices via google maps or directly via the car navigation system.
In addition, we still need the acceptance of RFID chips, which are also widely used.
With CCV, we have found a partner who has many years of experience and who, like us, takes an international approach. Since CCV is also the market leader in outdoor payment in the petroleum sector in Germany, we naturally profit from many years of market expertise. We can also rely on CCV for the future, with new innovative products such as the CCV IM30, which offer well-thought-out solutions for future requirements. The CCV IM30 uses an Android operating system and can also guarantee PIN entry. Currently, we have to stop charging at 25 € (higher amounts require PIN entry even for contactless payment). The topic of Android occupies us especially as a possibility for “One-Device-Only”, i.e. the apps on the terminal are used as price indicators and more. Personalisation is becoming an increasingly important topic, and apps will play a major role here as well.