We all have had to deal with ‘Unattended Services’ or self-service at one time or another. What comes to mind is usually permit, beverage or cigarette dispensing machines where you insert your money and your selection is basically ‘spit’ out.
But the Unattended Services industry is currently experiencing a revolution and now has a new, expanded palette of options through the rise of the Internet of Things. Conventional shop concepts are frequently obsolete because, thanks to progress and the interface with the Internet of Things, complex processes can be handled for customers with a high degree of convenience.
It is no longer about physical merchandise but rather about virtual services such as e-tickets for concerts or cinema, top-ups for prepaid mobile phones, loading smartphone wallets with cryptocurrency and even services such as bike sharing.
Fast and digital access to these services is the result of the customer’s need for a very high level of availability today. It would be optimal if every product and every service were available 24/7 and, in addition, there were no waiting time.
This desire and need of customers drives the industry massively forward. For instance, fueling station chains switched to cost-reducing automatic operation years ago. Electro-mobility, which currently and above all in the future will require even more charging stations, has followed the self-service model from its inception. In addition, these Unattended Services, which are available 24/7, are also closely linked with ‘cashless payment’.
Wirecard has made it possible that about 6,000 e-charging stations by Wirelane, a provider of software and hardware for charging electric vehicles, will be accepting cashless payment throughout Europe.
In addition to the control and administration of charging stations, the company has developed a new high-tech charging station for private and public areas. This makes a faster and less complicated charging process at the conventional charging stations. A module developed by Wirecard will make no-contact payment possible without a lengthy registration process – not even a pin number is needed. Just tapping on the station allows the end customer to pay with a NFC capable credit card or smartphone wallet, such as Google Pay or Apple Pay, and initiate the charging process for an electric vehicle.