Virta enables card payments across the network
Finnish charging platform Virta has enabled card payments in Europe with Mastercard and FIS Worldpay. Their new ‘Virta Payment Kiosk’ provides a central solution for seamless card payments at existing and new charging hubs.
As a standalone column that can connect more than one charging station simultaneously, it makes retrofitting existing hubs easy. Moreover, Virta claims the implementation and installation are cheap and fast without naming prices.
The Virta Payment Kiosk also integrates with the company’s existing billing system and complies with current (PSD2) and future (PSD3 and AFIR) legal and regulatory requirements. Virta can, therefore, roll out the new option to all charge point operators on the ‘Powered by Virta’ platform.
Designated launch markets are Sweden and Finland, and selected key locations in Norway, Denmark and Iceland. so Virta. The goal is to enable card payments at all charging stations on platform in Europe by the end of 2025. This will likely happen sooner in Germany – contactless payments will become mandatory for all charging stations on 1 July 2024.
This also appears in line with customer requirements. Virta quotes research conducted by Mastercard in 2021 when 65% of Europeans elected payment cards as their preferred payment method to overcome the number of apps and tags currently needed. This trend is confirmed in the new White Paper published by Mastercard this year.
“The lack of coherent and easy-to-use payment options at charging points have long been a pain point for electric vehicle drivers,” said Erik Gutwasser, Divisional President Nordics & Baltics at Mastercard. He said they were “happy to partner with Virta and Worldpay to set new payment standards across the EV charging landscape”.
“We expect Payment Kiosks to increase the utilization rates of charging stations, especially in high-traffic public areas attracting one-time visitors with fast and convenient charging without the need to download an app,” added Elias Pöyry, Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer of Virta.
Virta claims around 90,000 charging points in 35 countries connected to the Virta-Platform. “Together, these charging network operators constitute one of the biggest public networks in Europe,” which counts over 350 000 charging points when including roaming, according to Virta.
The company, whose biggest investor is E.On, aims to grow its charging transactions by more than fivefold in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by 2025. Virta is also thinking of virtual power plants, connecting EV batteries as energy storage in future. Virta believes that the platform could hold 12,000-15,000 MW of energy by 2025 in this way, equivalent to ten nuclear power plants. These estimates assume that EV batteries will represent up to 90% of Europe’s total battery storage capacity by 2030.