Even if many city dwellers have not heard of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) yet, plenty of businesses certainly have. The market is moving rapidly, and everyone from tech giants to scale-ups is signing up.
For example, both Google and Citymapper are exploring ways of pivoting from their core map offerings to enable mobility services. A great example of that is Google parking. Start-ups, meanwhile, are looking to gain market share in advance of potential major corporate takeovers. Last year, for example, Intel purchased MaaS solutions provider Moovit for around $900 million.
Nevertheless, these are still early days for the MaaS market. While digital services have become commonplace in many industries, from marketing to entertainment, many transportation bodies have struggled to make a similar transition, hampered by a fragmented business environment and legacy infrastructure that is not easily updated.
Despite these existing challenges, MaaS solutions are certainly worth pursuing.
If businesses can implement a winning MaaS strategy, they will provide travelers with a host of benefits, including:
Due to the integrated nature of MaaS solutions, travelers can choose to take a bur, hire a bike or take any other mode of transport depending on their needs. Leveraging real-time data, MaaS users will be able to see what method will be fastest, cheapest, and most convenient. All the relevant information can be viewed from a single platform. Payment is also straightforward and there’s no need to carry multiple cards around for each mode of transport.
MaaS trip planners can combine multiple transportation methods, including public transport, bike-sharing, carpooling, demand-responsive transport, and more.
MaaS apps can be implemented in stages due to modular software. The benefits of this are that the app development can be broken up and collaboration is easier to encourage.
New mobility services expand the mobility landscape. In many cities, transportation services are outdated and struggle to meet the needs of an expanding urban populace. MaaS solutions are adaptable and can use data to better understand how people are moving around.
By providing clarity around the available transportation options in a city, MaaS solutions help travelers to make informed decisions and provides alternative to non sustainable travel methods. For example, MaaS tools can be set up to inform users of the carbon footprint associated with each mode of transport, allowing them to manage their own emissions more accurately.
While the aforementioned advantages of MaaS solutions should all play their part in creating a winning strategy, MaaS providers should also be aware that it is unlikely that they will be able to fully realize these benefits without some assistance.
In fact, the list of parties involved in MaaS is incredibly long. Firstly, there are transport providers, including public transport bodies, shared mobility firms, demand-responsive transport companies, parking providers, and electric vehicle charging points. Public authorities, including national governments and municipal regulators, are also involved, as are enabler entities, such as data providers, finance firms, and ticket companies.
Delivering an account-based payments solution is a cornerstone for providing the integrated transport solution that MaaS promises. As a result, MaaS providers need access to a payments platform that can validate user identity digitally without adding friction to the process. At the same time, users must be reassured that the data they are sharing with their MaaS provider (both payments-related as well as other types of data) will be suitably protected. Without this guarantee, there will be a lack of trust within the MaaS solution that will damage user numbers.
MaaS payments should offer multiple payment options based on consumer choice.
MaaS payments should also offer multiple payment options based on consumer choice, meaning robust back-office support may be required to aggregate and manage the volume of payments being processed. Ultimately, payments can make or break a MaaS solution and determine whether it is able to integrate the broad spectrum of transportation services available in an urban environment.
MaaS is so complex and has so many different players that businesses should choose carefully when selecting their payments provider. A truly winning MaaS strategy is one that leverages payments innovation to deliver more user-friendly transport services, while continuing to meet its reliability and security goals.
A winning strategy is also one that is adaptable. The MaaS market will undoubtedly have a profound impact on financial firms, urban planners, vehicle manufacturers, and many other businesses. As more MaaS solutions enter the market, it could well be that the payments process ultimately determines whether each one succeeds or fails.
If you want to make sure that you get your MaaS strategy right, get in touch with PaymentGenes Consultancy today. We have the experience and contacts to ensure you implement a business plan that delivers success today - and in the future.
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SaaS providers that can successfully integrate billing and payments into their software have a unique opportunity to add value to their customers while generating recurring revenue for themselves. Yet, most SaaS providers don't - signifying the lack of available knowledge on how the right payments functionality could prove mission-critical.
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 annoying of all - traffic. The large-scale transition to MaaS is the solution, yet also one of the biggest multifaceted challenges to overcome - in which payments play a critical role.