Business mobility payments: On the road to change

The driving and mobility needs of corporate customers have always been more complex than those of private drivers. Think of fuel cards, toll on-board units, fleet management and multicurrency invoicing. This B2B mobility payments ecosystem is about to change - driven be electrification, digitization and technological advancements in payments. 

The driving and mobility needs of corporate customers have always been more complex than those of private drivers. For example, businesses may require a diverse fleet ranging from passenger cars to light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and trucks. They may also need fuel cards and toll boxes, advanced telematics hardware instead of simple mobile maps, and multicurrency invoicing. In turn, these more complex and diverse business needs have sparked the emergence of an equally sophisticated mobility payments ecosystem incorporating fuel and energy cards, financial solutions, and mobility services. This ecosystem encompasses players that offer bundles of services as well as more niche participants with targeted offerings around, for example, fuel cards, toll on-board units (OBUs), and workflows.

In the coming years, we anticipate five major trends to affect this ecosystem: evolving powertrain technology, mainstreaming of electric and digital infrastructure, digitalizing of workflows and processes, shifting B2B payment experiences, and increasing instant and device-agnostic payments. At the same time, government regulations will continue to evolve and shape this developing market. Although the impact of these changes will vary in timing and magnitude, we expect the B2B mobility payment landscape to look significantly different by 2030, albeit most likely remaining a separate vertical. This shift will affect every ecosystem stakeholder and the ways they interact with each other. As the sector develops, its post-2010 growth rate of about 6 percent will likely stay relatively constant as we head toward 2030, but sources of growth will shift significantly.

Most of the shifts we describe are medium to long term in nature, giving incumbents such as fuel card or toll payment providers some breathing room—but they will need to act quickly and decisively to take advantage of opportunities presented by the forthcoming changes. Conversely, payment players, automotive firms, and auto-fintech companies should consider whether they find this market attractive and accessible.

Based on our experience, payment providers in the mobility space will be well advised to prepare for the upcoming changes by engaging in four phases of reflection and adaptation: deciding on their role in the future ecosystem, ensuring they are ready to take advantage of the looming adjustments, adapting to these shifts by extending and reimagining their current business model to tap into new revenue sources, and — for generalist payment companies, automotive players, and start-ups — considering market entry.

Reinhard Höll
Sebastian Kempf
Rene Bienek
Benjamin Köck
Thomas Martin