Success story

Payment as a success factor for e-mobility

 

Have you already switched to electric? Then you may have already run into this situation: your car needs electricity and you’re standing right in front of a charging station, but you don't have the right payment method, fuel card, or payment app. Computop and Compleo have devised a simple solution for this.

 

The solution

The idea

Innovative charging options for semi-public parking areas

If you've ever driven an electric vehicle, you know: modern electric cars are comfortable, intuitive to operate, and a pleasure to drive. Unfortunately, the opposite is often true with regard to the charging infrastructure on German roads. Especially when it comes to the payment process, various payment apps, fuel cards, or the necessity to use certain payment methods can quickly put a damper on your mood.

With this in mind, Compleo Charging Solutions (Compleo) came up with the idea for a new product: a simple e-charging solution for companies ― such as supermarkets or hotels ― that want to provide their customers or employees with an intuitive charging option. No special app, no pre-registration, and maximum freedom of choice for payment methods. All you need is a cell phone with a QR scanner and Internet access.

Compleo has the expertise to make it happen: as a pioneer in the field of charging infrastructure, the Dortmund-based company holds over 170 patent families and has been actively working since 2009 to improve the accessibility and convenience of charging facilities throughout Europe. The mobility enthusiasts at Compleo always pursue two objectives in product development: first, to make charging electric vehicles as simple and smooth as possible. Second, to provide charging point operators with lasting, flexible, and easy-to-use solutions.

 

Intuitive charging and payment process with the Compleo charging solution

Smooth, fast payment via smartphone and automated settlement across all payment methods

 

The core of the concept is a "slim" charging station that does not require its own user interface and card readers. Both the operation of the charging station and the payment for charging current are web-based, on the user's cell phone.

In particular, the payment process and billing of charging processes caused headaches for the charging specialists at Compleo during the planning stage. Because this is precisely where a flawless user experience is crucial for operators and users alike. The implemented payment solution therefore had to meet the following requirements:

  • Customized payment method mix and integration into the Compleo backend: With Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, the checkout should provide exactly those payment methods that are relevant to the target group and payment scenario. High priority was also given to fast and uncomplicated integration into the existing Compleo backend system.
  • Automated clearing of paid charges: The payment solution had to transfer payment receipts (settlement information) of the integrated payment methods automatically and bundled to the Compleo systems in order to enable automatic invoicing to end users.
  • White labeling of invoicing: Charging station operators had to be able to issue invoices to end users in their own name. Regardless of the actual electricity supplier and depending on the location of the charging stations, operators can thus independently decide on prices and rate models for the charge current. At the same time, customers or employees perceive charging as a company service thanks to this feature.

Compleo started looking for partners and shortly afterwards the first discussions with the Payment People began. Due to their complex requirements, the charging experts assumed that no current payment gateway could meet their product requirements “right off the bat.” However, it soon became clear that Computop Paygate already had all the prerequisites to implement the product as planned.

 

The result

“The Computop Team delivered what they promised: The integration of the Hosted Payment Page and the Computop Settlement File could be done very quickly and without a great deal of effort. It is a huge advantage for the future expansion of our solution that we will be able to add further payment methods to the checkout in a very short time.”


Phillipp Graf  - Head of Marketing & Sales

 

The solution

Customizable payment page with all desired payment methods

It was important for the developers at Compleo to be able to integrate the checkout into the browser-based flow of the application with as little integration effort as possible. Technically, it therefore made sense to use a payment page fully hosted by the payment provider. Computop already had the solution: the customizable Computop Hosted Payment Page enabled easy integration into the checkout process via redirect. All desired payment methods were also preconfigured in the page template and only had to be activated by Computop's customer support.

The seamless, frustration-free user experience in the checkout flow was also easy to implement, as the hosted payment page could be flexibly adapted to the corporate design of the respective charging station operator via white labeling. The page's device- and manufacturer-independent responsive design also ensures error-free display on end customers' mobile devices.

Automated delivery of settlement information

After the successful embedding of the checkout page, the question remained as to how automatic clearing and settlement of user payments could be carried out across all payment methods offered. After all, this step was the prerequisite for enabling charging station operators to automatically bill end users.

The necessary tool was immediately available to Compleo in the form of the Computop Settlement File (CTSF). The CTSF enables smooth, cross-payment type reconciliation of open items with completed customer payments. To do this, Computop Paygate collects the required settlement information from the relevant acquirers and payment schemes and bundles it into a single file. The file is then automatically transferred to Compleo's accounting systems for further processing.

Compleo's convenient charging solution for half public parking spaces guarantees relaxed shopping trips with the electric car

The result

Easy, convenient e-charging, thanks to payment technology from Computop

 

Outstanding user experience

Test users were already impressed by the uncomplicated and fast payment process after their first tries. Especially if they use payment methods such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay in conjunction with biometric authentication. In these cases, electric car drivers were able to start the charging process in no time at all without registering.

At the same time, Compleo was able to fully implement the white label approach according to the original ideas. There are no breaks in the user experience. End customers have the impression that they are purchasing the e-charging service directly from the charging station operator, as the entire user flow in the ordering and payment process as well as the receipt via e-mail are carried out in the look and feel of the operator. As a result, existing customer trust in the brand is automatically transferred to the new value-added service.

Minimal effort for integration and ongoing operation

Like all Computop solutions, the Hosted Payment Page and the Computop Settlement File follow the principle of adaptable payments. Customizability and modularity of the paygate features ensure quick integration into customer systems and easy adaptation to individual customer requirements. This helped the Compleo developer team to integrate the payment component into the new product with a minimum of time and resources.

Compleo benefits from Computop Paygate, especially with regard to continuous development of the solution. If required, new payment methods can be added to the checkout with minimal effort ― sometimes within a few minutes. Thanks to the hosted payment page, you can choose from around 60 of the world's most common payment methods, including classic e-commerce methods such as PayPal. This creates flexibility to respond quickly to changing user requirements or to adapt the checkout to regional conditions ― or across national borders if desired.

An innovative contribution to the expansion of the e-charging infrastructure in Germany

With the product launch of the charging solution, Compleo's e-mobility experts have taken another important step in reducing existing “white spots” on charging point maps. Enterprises such as hotels, supermarkets, shopping centers, or residential complexes will be pleased: in the future, they will be able to offer their customers a simple, immediately usable charging option for electric vehicles ― inexpensive to purchase and easy to install.

Computop's Payment People are also proud to contribute to the mobility transition together with Compleo and look forward to helping many other e-mobility projects succeed with the Computop Paygate omnichannel gateway.

The charging solution from Compleo provides a full battery and continuous driving joy