If you have decided to launch your vehicle sharing business using existing software, without developing it from scratch, this article will help you to understand what software features you could seek and ask for.
The sharing business is growing worldwide, as is the number of sharing app providers. At ATOM Mobility from time to time we meet clients who are already using some platform, but are not totally happy with it. Moreover they don't know about the multitude of built-in features that they can have at no extra cost. So let's look at some default as well as “nice to have” features that the best sharing software solutions must have.
Starting the ride
There are several options to start the ride, so the software should be adjustable for all options. It is possible to put a QR code on the vehicle so that the code can be scanned through the app by the user. For the software it means that there should be a functionality in the app that allows the QR code to be scanned, finding the particular vehicle, and allowing the user to drive it as well as letting the system and others know that this vehicle is not currently available.
Another option for the user to start the ride is by clicking the button on the app, thus unlocking it. This function is especially popular in car and moped sharing. The app should link the particular user to the vehicle and the software should allow the ride. Despite the fact that QR codes are more popular, at ATOM we invite our customers to think it over. Unlocking via the app can sometimes be a more reliable choice because QR codes could be broken or not fully visible. In addition, users could have issues with their cameras, so why not start the ride with just one click?
Although it is not very popular, some vehicle sharing companies still offer users the option of making a reservation for the vehicle. In this case, software should do all the jobs - the user identifies the vehicle on the map, makes the reservation, and the vehicle should then wait for this particular user, who scans the QR code or pushes the button when he is ready for the ride. This functionality of keeping the vehicle for a particular time and later offering it to another user should also be automatically managed by the software.
Another challenge is how to avoid the problem of users who missed the previous ride making a reservation for the next ride? And what happens if the same user doesn't show up two times in a row? These limitations on reservations should also be directly available on the platform.
And what happens if a user starts using a vehicle other than the one that was reserved for him? The possibility that this might occur is low, but still should be tested.
Connectivity and tracking the vehicle
Connection to IoT lies on two shoulders – the IoT device that is on the vehicle and the software. It is crucial for you and the operators to always know where the vehicle is located and what its current status is. The software should provide the opportunity to track vehicles and obtain overall information about driving speed, acceleration, and errors. It should also have system alerts in case something happens; for example, someone tries to steal the vehicle or a rider drives outside the parking zone.
Remember that every vehicle makes money for your business every minute that it spends on the street. If something is wrong, then it is in your best interest to know this as soon as possible, as well as to locate the vehicle and dispatch the service team to conduct a check-up. Additionally, if you take care of the fleet and keep it in good condition, malfunctioning risks and additional costs in long term are going to be minimized.
ATOM Mobility software currently supports Segway, Teltonika, Acton, Omni, Okai, Fitrider, Freego, Zimo, Comodule, Hongji, Yadea and Niu IoT devices. Existing integrations allow ATOM Mobility customers to quickly scale the fleet, test and add new vehicle models, and not be limited to their plans. Of course, it is also possible to do custom integrations upon request.
Everything revolves around payments and preventing fraud
Before having anything to do with the user, it is crucial to identify him. In some countries, it is even mandatory, including for scooter and bike-sharing services. But it is also important for your own safety. ATOM Mobility has recently started to collaborate with Veriff – an API solution that allows any website and mobile application to match a person with their government-issued ID. So if the vehicle sharing service provider is using ATOM Mobility software, Veriff's API will directly enable integration of verification processes into mobile apps. It takes less than 2 minutes for Veriff to automatically verify the document. ATOM Mobility supports also other ID verification tools such as Sumsub. However, it is vital to make sure that the tool is robust, offers a good user experience, and is automated and lightning fast before integrating it.
By the way, user experience is very important not only concerning identification, payments, or other separate features but also in regard to the overall convenience of using the platform. Players in the vehicle-sharing business fight for conversions. And this can mean a lot in terms of money. For example, if the software has a conversion rate of 20% on average, then registration for the first ride from 100,000 clients reached will bring less than EUR 225,000 in turnover per month compared to the company that has an average conversion rate of 50%.
When it comes to payments, nowadays there are a lot of payment providers that can be integrated with sharing mobility software. Before choosing one, it is crucial to collect feedback and make sure that integration has a convenient user interface, it is safe and the service provider is stable, i.e. there won't be any significant disruptions. ATOM Mobility clients usually use the most popular global payment providers such as Stripe, Adyen, Paypal and Klarna. In some cases, local payment providers are needed due to legal restrictions, for example, in Saudi Arabia we partner with Hyperpay and in Ukraine, we partner with Concord. So integration with these payment providers is already set up within ATOM Mobility software. Of course, custom integrations can also be done and additional service providers added.
After the payment has been made and the ride has been completed, the invoice should be delivered straight to the user's e-mail box and also made available through the customer profile on the app. For brand awareness and user convenience, it is good that the software is able to personalize the invoice by adding logo and other company details. You can probably even add promotional messages for the next ride. And you should check whether an e-invoice delivered straight to the e-mail address is mandatory, because in some countries it is.
Of course, the most valuable client for the company is one, who makes recurring payments and rides more than once. Recently major players in the field have announced subscription services. In May 2021 Lime rolled out the monthly subscription service Lime Prime. In contrast, Bird offers a monthly fee rent their scooters. The best fleet sharing software has subscription functionality available, so you should definitely consider using it also for your business.
Access through the dashboard and the most advanced features
All the information and functionality mentioned above and a lot more should be accessible through the dashboard available, together with the software and the app. Every employee of the company involved in the vehicle sharing organization process should have convenient access to it from any available device. However, there should be an opportunity to regulate which user has access to what features - different reasons, not every team member needs full access to the dashboard.
Usually, the dashboard helps to manage the fleet, rides, and customers. For the convenience of data analysis, the dashboard should have reporting and data exporting capabilities. An additional feature that you definitely need to look for is heatmaps and rebalancing suggestions, which will help you to plan your fleet and the location of your vehicles by predicting the busiest areas in the city, where vehicles are in the highest demand during certain hours of the day. This functionality is automatically also available through the best software.
Private fleets and working with corporates
And last but not least. Sometimes there is an opportunity to make at least part of your fleet private. This is a corporate and private sharing scheme. In corporate sharing schemes, for example, you can offer part of your fleet to some large company, so this company’s employees have exclusive access to this fleet. In private sharing schemes, you can grant exclusive access to the vehicles to residents of a specific hotel or building. There are many other options available, but the main message is that even this functionality is integrated into the best fleet sharing software, so choose your software partner carefully and wisely.
None of the features discussed here matter if you don’t have an appropriate platform. The biggest complaints from the end users that sharing businesses receive concern the instability of the platform. So always remember to start by checking SLA. It is the indicator of stability that shows the number of minutes during the month that the system experienced some problems. The platform should have indicator of 99.5% -99.9%. If the SLA is lower, all other features don’t make sense as you will definitely received a lot of complaints from the user that something is not working. If you have any additional questions or are interested in integrating some custom features, contact the ATOM Mobility team to find out more. We are one of the biggest and one of the most experienced players in the market.