How many batteries do you need to visit your mother?

Detroit Electric car charging

Detroit Electric car charging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not like batteries and I do not much like cars. So when my colleagues in the Atos Scientific Community talk about these two things in 1 whitepaper you can understand it is something I cannot ignore.

Batteries are empty when you need them most (look at any horror movie and you know what I mean). Cars are expensive and they pollute our planet.

There is a multitude of battery formats and you have to go to the store to buy them – or you need to charge them and that takes a lot of time (iPhone anybody?).

So, electric cars, cars fuelled by batteries, is something that I find an unlikely combination.

Charging them is time consuming and a charger is not available everywhere. The use of changeable batteries might seems like a good idea, but is it really convenient and what about formats and availability?

Exactly this dilemma of ‘Electromobility’ is described in a whitepaper of the Atos Scientific Community:

The success of Electromobility depends on addressing two major challenges: User acceptance and the availability of supporting infrastructure and services.”

After looking into the subject it became clear that next to user acceptance and the support infrastructure, we can also see this as a huge area of new revenue possibilities and innovation.

Leasing and pay-for-use in mobility are much better business cases for both the vendor and the consumer. It also ‘fuels’ (sorry, I could not resist making that joke…), the innovation process because you take out the big capex investment for the end user.

New business models like battery leasing, simple easy to use charging infrastructure and the involvement of all stakeholders are the key to a positive business case.”

Instead of buying a new car every 5 or 6 years, the consumer (and companies) can choose to either own a car or lease one according to his needs of today.

With the right infrastructure he can choose to just change battery or even change the whole car. And through some clever analysis the supplier can even predict the end user behavior.

This prediction leads to a more tailored offering and in itself will drive further innovation. Such analysis, combined with extending the eco system for example into insurance companies, food and beverage providers, holiday brokers and other leisure providers can create whole new commercial eco systems.

Electromobility needs multi-sided flexible business platforms with open interfaces to create new value.”

This is of course all very much in the future and will mean we need to change our habits, both on the provider and the consumer side of driving a car.

But change is inevitable and with the right standardization to support ease of use, and a well-integrated system for payments and loyalty schemes, I might be persuaded to buy into such a solution for visiting my mother.

For now we just need to start to understand what is at stake, what is possible and which actions we need to take. For this the upcoming whitepaper is an excellent first step. 

[This blog post is a repost of]

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3 reasons why you should embrace mobile payments

iPhone Mobile Payment 100 Euro

iPhone Mobile Payment 100 Euro (Photo credit: monty.metzger)

I once had to go through a very intensive security check because I left a 1 euro coin in my pocket. The pocket had a hole. The euro coin found is way in the fabric and I was setting off all alarms.

The only thing that prevented me from having to strip, was a portable scanner that pinpointed the culprit.

A small knife (not mine) was used and the problem was taken away. It was like having public surgery.

This experience came to mind when I was reading a white paper download location of the Atos Scientific Community. The document explores the world of mobile payments.

"Mobile payment is not about printing money or inventing a new currency, but about a customer, a merchant (or both) using a mobile device during the payment of a transaction."

The paper describes in detail the technological challenges and looks into the way that business need to adapt themselves to accommodate the use of mobile devices for enabling payments.

Several business scenarios are explored in the paper showing the benefits of this way of handling transactions.

Normally when we introduce this concept we focus on the benefit for the customer.

Mobility, no need for cash and ease of use are obvious positive points.

It becomes interesting if we move our view to the merchant and look at what mobility can do at the ‘other side of the transaction’.

– Firstly a mobile point of sale introduces more flexibility in store concepts and a intimacy between sales person and buyer; this enhances the shopping experience and makes the transaction a more natural part of the shop visit.

– Secondly, the investment in the point of sale equipment is lower, any mobile device will do and there is a great choice available.

– Finally the digitalization allows for multiple payment scenarios including different levels of security (each with their own cost level), connecting loyalty schemes and ad hoc sales promotions.

Although the benefits look compelling there are still hurdles to overcome. These include the obvious security challenges as well as the physical capabilities of the devices such as encryption, local storage and Near Field Communication.

Also you do not want your roaming contract or mobile data plan to become an inhibitor when you see that once in a life time opportunity at the local market in that cute little village in Peru.

"Can technology make physical money irrelevant? That may be a statement that is too bold to make today, but it is certainly not too difficult to envision. One of the main enablers for such a zero-cash scenario is mobile payment."


This blog post is a repost of

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