Introducing: QR code payments for EV charging points
The electric vehicle market has already seen huge growth in the past few years, and the forecasts show a continued boom in this industry. With generous government incentives available for EV drivers in many countries around the globe, the tide has certainly turned in favour of electric.
This growth is well-documented. Electric vehicles snatched 2.2% of the global vehicle market in the first ten months of 2019, and almost every major car brand is unveiling new electric models in 2020. And it’s not just early adopters who are buying EVs anymore; people from all walks of life are making the switch.
As the market expands, EV charging operators need to adapt to the increased demand. While the majority of EV charges do happen at home, on-the-go recharging is critical along major highways for people on long journeys, and also in shared parking locations for day-trippers and residents who don’t have their own private driveway. This infrastructure is key to the continued growth of EV ownership.
Until now, interoperability has been a massive challenge. Closed systems (i.e. subscription-based) add a barrier for the consumer, and they also prevent operators from accessing the revenue stream of ad-hoc users. In this blog post, we’ll show how CCV’s QR code solution is solving this problem...
Why QR code payments make sense for EV charging operators
In a perfect world, every EV charging point would be equipped with a full terminal to handle multiple methods of open payment – contactless debit/credit card and mobile wallet payments included.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is complex to retrofit this technology into existing installations, and often there isn’t enough space on the charging point to fit a full contactless and/or PIN payment terminal. Yet at the same time, operators need to open up their network to ad-hoc customers.
With 280 million smartphone users in Western Europe, increased data coverage, and high internet speeds via 4G and 5G, mobile has become the new normal. As a result, mobile payments are rising in popularity and have become commonplace.
In this environment, we see web-based payments via QR code to be the barrier-free solution for EV charging operators who want to open up their existing network to new customers. While app-based payments also work, they rely on the driver downloading an app and signing up for a profile. Mobile web payments are quicker, simpler, and demand less commitment from the consumer.
QR code payments: the benefits for EV operators
When using QR codes for payment on EV charging points, there are two main options:
- A static QR code (sticker or printout)
- A dynamic QR code displayed on a screen
In order to prevent fraud, we favour the second option. This is feasible on a small screen, and it is often possible to integrate with the operator’s existing technology. No need for complex and expensive hardware to be fitted onto the charging point – simply a software update to allow for QR code display.
With a QR code solution and mobile website, operators can also offer something vital to drivers: price transparency. Electricity prices fluctuate, and charging costs change as a result. Furthermore, there should be incentives for people to charge EVs when there is less burden on the electricity grid.
Operators have struggled to offer this transparency to drivers – especially when upgrading closed systems to open ones. But as well as facilitating payment, our mobile website can display dynamic prices. This increases certainty for the consumer – no surprises about how much their charge will cost.
Furthermore, this mobile website can be hosted by the operator and branded with their designs, or it can be white labelled and handled by CCV. The choice is yours – just let us know.
Keeping EV Charging Easy for the Consumer
For EV charging operators, it’s vital that their technology is easy to use. In a competitive business environment, user experience can make all the difference. Our QR payment solution for EV charging is extremely simple for anybody who has a smartphone device...
The driver just needs to follow these 8 easy steps:
Step 1. Connect the car to the charger: Simple – just connect the EV charging cable as normal.
Step 2. Scan the QR code: The driver scans the QR code on the EV charging point with their smartphone.
Step 3. Choose the payment method: After scanning the QR code, the driver can open a mobile webpage, which offers a variety of web-based payment methods (e.g. credit card, iDeal, PayPal).
Step 4. Confirm the payment method: The driver confirms the correct payment method, and fills in the data that’s required (e.g. credit card number). On this page, the driver can choose whether to receive an email receipt at the end of the charging session.
Step 5. Reservation is complete: The screen shows confirmation that the reservation has been successfully made on their card. Now the car will be charged until full, or until the driver wants to leave.
Step 6. The vehicle is charged: The webpage confirms that the vehicle is being charged, and the driver can go about their business in full confidence that the recharge is running.
Step 7. Disconnect the car: The driver returns to the vehicle and disconnects it from the EV charging point. There are no further interactions with the charger – the driver can drive off immediately.
Step 8. Receive the receipt via email: If the driver had requested it, he or she will receive a receipt in their email inbox confirming the final amount that has been charged to their card.
Note: the e-receipt option is particularly useful for business customers, or for drivers who are using their electric vehicle for business purposes and need to claim the costs back on expenses.
Consumers are more willing than ever to pay for services using their smartphone, especially if the experience is pleasant, secure, and the cost expectations are clear. While credit and debit card payments are the most popular digital payment methods, QR codes offer a straightforward and secure alternative.
This QR code solution for EV charging operators is a low-effort and low-cost way to open up closed charging systems to new customers. Operators don’t need to worry about installing heavy new hardware, because it’s just a case of adding a QR code display and setting up the web-based mobile website. This is a simple solution that makes sense for operators, and also for EV drivers.
There are multiple solutions for EV charging operators to open up their payment infrastructure. Whether you need a full-scale contactless terminal or a more agile solution to create new revenue streams, CCV will recommend the best solution for your individual needs.
The future of mobility
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About the Author
Maria Joukovitch is a passionate and professional partner manager, specialized in the international payment industry. Responsible for managing a portfolio of international partners where she is customer driven with focus on results. Maria is experienced at large scale payment solutions for International Partners.
Are you ready to explore opportunities for your EV business? Please contact Maria Joukovitch.