The recent increase in EV sales in the United States is increasing. The market size was valued at 2.85 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at an impressive CAGR of 36.9 percent through 2030. While growing initiatives by public and private sectors have successfully driven consumers to switch to electric, the infrastructure to charge vehicles away from home, particularly for day trips and longer road trips, has lagged. Despite more than 148,000 charging stations across the country, it isn’t enough to support the anticipated growth in EV adoption.
Solutions providers have much to gain through expanding into EV charging station payments to help meet the growing demand. However, there are challenges to overcome when providing drivers with a reliable and convenient customer experience when charging.
Top Considerations for EV Charging Station Payments
Successfully equipping EV charging stations with embedded payments requires selecting hardware and providing software with the right features, including:
Embedded Device Options for Reliability and Weather-Resistance
Embedded card readers for EV charging stations must be designed for the use case. Readers need to be suited to working in temperature and weather extremes, and they should be tamper-proof. They should also be economical, so they can be replaced practically if damage should occur. Work with a payment technology company with expertise in providing readers for outdoor systems.
Payment Security and Compliance
EV chargers need payment systems that are Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant to protect payment data. However, they also need physical security to ensure reliability and maximum uptime. Broken, vandalized, and out-of-service technology make for frustrated customers, who may be hesitant to re-visit a failed location the next time they need to recharge.
Optimal UX Design
EV drivers expect the experience to be easy and convenient. Ensure that your embedded payments solution delivers a readable interface that displays information customers need to complete their transactions. Complying with IP65 standards, optimized display brightness, reduced internal reflections, anti-glare filters, and a capacitive touchscreen that is both waterproofed and gloved touched are key features to ensure optimal readability and design.
Connectivity is crucial for users to monitor charging progress as well as complete embedded payment transactions and authorizations. Design a system with multiple options to connect and failover to keep systems running in case of an outage. It’s best to choose a provider with a proven track record in remote management and 24/7 monitoring to identify and resolve any issues quickly.
Customers expect to be able to use their choice of payment method, whether that includes credit, debit, contactless, mobile wallets, in-app payments, or emerging payment methods, such as in-car payments. Solutions providers that will be most successful in deploying embedding payments for EV charging stations should also work with a processor and device-agnostic gateway partner experienced in the EV charging industry. The right partner will provide guidance around new merchant category codes (MCC) for classifying public EV charging station transactions. Additionally, they can provide transparency around rates and the pros and cons of different transaction approval models unique to the EV industry. An added benefit may even be white-label opportunities on merchant-facing tools and reporting and through device branding.
Drivers need to be able to find charging stations and quickly pay to recharge vehicles. Navigational tools, and apps like PlugShare, which 70 percent of EV owners report having on their phones, help owners access a wide network of (mostly) up-to-date information on EV charger types and locations. Consider integrating with apps so drivers can find the EV charging stations you provide.
Solutions providers who rise as leaders in this niche will also overcome the challenge of reliability. In 2022, at least one in five charging attempts failed, based on a study that included 26,500 charging attempts at Level 2 and Level 3 chargers in all fifty states. Reasons for failure included stations being out of service, software glitches, and payment processing errors. Solve these issues, and you’ll be indispensable.
Seize the Opportunity of Embedded Payments for EV Charging
The number of EVs is increasing, with sales doubling in 2021 over the previous year and accounting for 5 percent of all global passenger car sales. Providing EV charging terminals with embedded payment solutions to restaurants with parking areas, shopping centers, and campuses can be a growth opportunity for your business. However, the right payment solution is critical. Ensure that you partner with an experienced provider of EV charging station payments technology to successfully seize the opportunity presented at this pivotal moment in the industry. Contact us to learn more.