Public charging stations are proliferating, but some operators still make it inconvenient for drivers, requiring them to join a network in advance and carry around a special card. European charging network operator Allego has taken a major step towards eliminating this unnecessary bottleneck with the launch of a contactless payment solution that supports Visa, Mastercard and American Express. The company is now rolling out the new service in the UK, and plans to introduce it in its other markets as well.
Upgraded Allego chargers allow EV drivers to pay for charging using EMV, a European security standard for the chips embedded in credit cards. The stations use NearField Communication (NFC), a technology that allows the machine to read data from the card without contact. Drivers can pay by just tapping a debit card, credit card or NFC-enabled device such as a wallet (banks, Apple Pay, Google Pay) on the charger’s built-in payment terminal.
Allego has already deployed the first NFC-enabled charger at Shell Holloway in London, and will shortly introduce the new feature across the Shell Recharge network in the UK. Beginning in 2019, every new 50 kW charger from Allego will be equipped with NFC payment.
“The new payment solution at our chargers is essential to offer EV drivers worldwide price transparency. We believe in a consumer-centric EV market, in which drivers have access to every charging facility, can pay however they want and get a direct overview of their costs,” says Anja van Niersen, CEO of Allego.
“Until now electric vehicle drivers have faced a lengthy registration processes in order to charge their vehicles. This partnership means drivers will be able to pay easily at Shell forecourts without the need to enter into a contract or settle payments on a monthly basis,” says Hemlata Narasimhan, Visa’s Head of Merchant Services, Europe. “Electric vehicle drivers are used to a seamless experience when they are behind the steering wheel and now we are enabling a similarly seamless experience when they charge their vehicles.”