Although some aspects of how we move around the urban environment have changed in recent years, several familiar problems remain. Cities continue to be plagued by over-burdened infrastructure, worryingly high pollution levels, and - perhaps most worrying development of all - traffic congestions. A large-scale transition to MaaS is part of the solution, yet also one of the biggest multifaceted challenges to overcome - in which payments play a critical role.
These issues are not easy to resolve, particularly when the number of individuals living in urban environments continues to increase. Over the past 60 years, the number of people residing in urban areas has more than quadrupled. By 2050, it is estimated that 68% of the total global population will live in cities.
'Over the past 60 years, the number of people residing in urban areas has more than quadrupled'
Previously, urban planners may have attempted to improve mobility for city dwellers by simply building more roads or adding more bus routes but recent technological developments have shown that there is a better alternative. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is an evolving trend that is catching the attention of public authorities, tech firms, private car hire companies, and other organizations that could revolutionize the urban space - and make life a lot easier for the individuals living and working in cities today.
MaaS is an integrated transport management system that delivers on-demand, intelligent mobility services. A MaaS solution should offer access to a variety of different transport modes and providers through a single platform, using data to inform travellers of service conditions, ticketing options, and real-time traffic information. It should deliver diversity, reliability, and ease-of-use.
In practice, a MaaS solution is likely to take the form of a mobile app containing a wide range of transport options, including private taxi firms, car hire companies, bike-sharing options, and public transport. Essentially, it acts as a fully integrated service to manage all your mobility needs. There’s no longer any need to have multiple apps, cards, or membership schemes in order to get around the city.
For MaaS solutions to truly offer a seamless answer to a city’s mobility issues, it will need to facilitate fast and efficient payment for all its transport options. While this may not appear overly complicated at first, it involves understanding a spectrum of technological approaches and regulatory hurdles. Companies must get their payment process right if travelers are to trust them with sensitive information like their payment details.
'Facilitating fast and efficient payment for all transport options involves understanding a spectrum of technological approaches and regulatory hurdles'
The growth of e-Commerce and ride-hailing apps has meant that individuals are now comfortable with using digital payments as opposed to cash transactions - but this doesn’t mean that they will accept unnecessary friction in the payment process. To encourage users to adopt your MaaS solution, payments must be fast and convenient.
In order to achieve streamlined payments, MaaS providers should build up strong relationships with all the relevant transport operators, card payment providers (if required by your payment model), and data providers. It is also essential that MaaS developers have a clear understanding of the regulatory environment within the jurisdiction that they are operating in.
When the payments process has truly been optimized, users will have access to a variety of different payment options natively from their MaaS app. Consistent data access will also be important here, enabling MaaS providers to share transport options with users and allowing travelers to better assess as part of the solution’s aggregated services.
Some MaaS solutions are already being implemented on a small scale - but more developments are surely coming. It is predicted that the global MaaS market will be worth $106.8 billion by 2030 (up from $6.8 billion today). The many benefits that MaaS can provide make this level of growth easy to understand.
Across many European countries, the average worker spends several hours each week stuck in traffic - costing their respective economies millions. The worst affected country on the continent is the UK, where 45.7 hours are spent trapped in road congestion every year, with Belgium coming a close second with 39.4 hours. Across some nations, car ownership rates are falling as individuals look for alternative ways of getting around the city more efficiently. MaaS could be the answer they are looking for.
Away from the end-user, MaaS also offers a huge strategic opportunity for businesses. However, they cannot afford to neglect the payment process when creating their MaaS solution. Fast and efficient payment will ultimately prove to be the deciding factor for individuals when choosing how to get around their city. Payments is the foundation for MaaS, and it’s about time your company got on board.
If you are looking to embrace MaaS, find out how PaymentGenes’ consultancy services can support you. With our wealth of industry experience, we can help you find the payment provider and operator model to suit your needs.
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