Shaping the future of mobility, together.

An REA Guest Blog by Keith Brown, MD at Paythru,


The digital mobility revolution is here. (Well, almost…)

A hundred years ago, the automobile changed mobility forever, as it replaced literal ‘horsepower’. These days the automobile is at the centre of another paradigm shift due to societal concerns like urban congestion and pollution (and even an ageing population) — repurposed as a far more efficient and integrated, public-oriented device.

This shift is based on four trends; connected networks, automation, shared services and electrification. Combined, these unlock new possibilities for mobility.

The convergence of the physical and digital worlds is also fundamentally changing this world.

Such fundamental change in transport within a relatively short period of time and across so many different technologies is unprecedented, which throws up many of its own challenges.


“Your ‘mobility’ bill is ready.”

“At some point we would have a mobility bill just like a cell phone bill. You’d use different services and then pay up at the end of the month.” Ole Harms, VW Group.

Dear Diary: Wednesday, making weekly pilgrimage to Birmingham for exec-board meet; auto-confirmed usual parking space with chargepoint; e-scooter booked and charged; mid-afternoon onward train to Manchester reserved (with one-hour’s flex); now, let’s finish that crossword…

Sounds good, yes?

This interoperability is essential to join-up all the elements of this experience. One seamless interface. One single payment experience.


Fragmentation is the enemy.

Regrettably, many of the mobility innovations being developed in EV charging, parking and other mobility service-provision offerings use a siloed attitude to innovation which is hindering the ability to create the interoperability required to deliver the desired end-to-end customer experience.


One app is company; three’s a crowd.

Technology, automation and big data should be making parking and parking management less painful. Many UK councils have introduced cashless parking.

The problem with this system is that drivers have to keep downloading new apps depending on where they park.

Now add in the requirement for EV charging in this shared asset base, and you’ve got a mind-boggling maze of options and apps – with dizziness-inducing levels of incremental fragmentation.

This also leads to the inability to share data and a lack of opportunity to manage and curate mobility solutions for positive social, political and environmental outcomes.

And there is also the potential commercial impact for car park owners and operators, who are currently not thinking about the collateral commercial damage that EV might have when managed alongside parking.


The road to revolution.

“For the first time in a century, we have mobility technology that won’t just incrementally improve the old system but can completely disrupt it… A total redesign of the surface transportation system with humans and community at the centre.” Jim Hackett, Ford CEO.

The EV revolution is most definitely upon us. Battery life and other performance measures are improving at pace.

There’s no doubt that, in this context, the automotive brands are positioning themselves to be at the epicentre of a shift in focus; from the disjointed development of assets, hardware and software solutions to the delivery of exceptional joined-up (and monetised) customer experiences.


The Government is poised.

The Government are also saying that they want to encourage open standards and payments (Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Act 2018), so that EV users have a simple and seamless charging experience in the UK, including the concept of roaming.


Collaboration is key.

There’s an opportunity for those like-minded and ambitious businesses to collaborate to influence the agenda to the benefit of all concerned, especially the consumer, before the Government starts to intervene, or even interfere.


All for one and one for all.

Paythru exists to help unlock this customer-centric and entirely agnostic digital experience to join-up the dots of this complex and rapidly evolving mobility ecosystem.

But we can’t do it alone.

We believe that a simple but sophisticated payments platform is the customer experience ‘glue’ – but we need something to glue together before we can become useful and effective.

We want to collaborate with as many interested parties to create the momentum to effect long-term change.

To this end, we’re reaching out to anyone wishing to participate in a trial to pioneer a national, customer-centric roaming standard.


The road ahead is clear. And clean…

We have an extraordinary opportunity here – to put Britain at the heart of the next mobility revolution. It’s an opportunity that we at Paythru, and all those concerned with the continued and successful evolution of REA, are determined – with your help – to realise.

Join us now by contacting Keith Brown at [email protected].


A little bit about Paythru.

Paythru provides configurable, innovative digital payment solutions in financial services and the rapidly developing world of digitised mobility. Our software-as-a-service operating system offers flexible white-label solutions to mobility businesses to help them put their customers at the centre of the experience, by curating better-informed journey decisions from A-B.