ABB introduced a new option for its Terra 53 DC fast chargers - a credit card terminal with both EMV chip and NFC contactless smartphone payment technology.

Having that feature enables the use of chargers without network membership. ABB calls it Ultimate Interoperability.  (Which sounds a lot like the keyword from the recent ROEV announcement between 17,000 public charging stations in the US on Thursday)

The option is available for both new and existing Terra 53 chargers.

"EMV smart chip technologies offer the contactless payment option that keeps users financial data more secure. Near Field Communication (NFC) payments also allow drivers extra security through their smart phone payment platforms such as Apple Pay or Android Pay. These features are both incorporated in ABB's credit card reader option."

Andy Bartosh, Director of ABB's Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure business for the Americas said:

"Membership-based payment systems have distinct advantages for electric vehicle drivers in terms of local convenience, incentives, and reliable charging management across a region. However, as vehicle batteries get bigger, and charging options grow, more drivers will be roaming into different geographies. A credit card or smartphone payment system offers peace of mind that drivers can use a charging station right when they need it, regardless of who is managing the network."

"There are parallels for EV charging and the early mobile phone industry.  Privacy and coverage issues were very frustrating for users who traveled outside of their home region. Developing better roaming solutions helped spur growth of mobile device use. Today, drivers know they can use a charger even if they don't have the right membership card, relying on a credit card or smart phone transaction to get them to their next destination."

One of the first companies to use credit card payment method is Sunspeed Enterprises:

"One company leveraging credit card payment methods for EV charging services is Sunspeed Enterprises, a Bay Area infrastructure provider. Sunspeed is developing a network of chargers along scenic roads that connect tourists from the Bay, along the West Coast Pacific Highway into Wine Country."

Richard Sachen, Founder and CEO of Sunspeed said:

"The flexibility of a generic credit card reader is critical for Sunspeed's business serving EV tourism. New drivers have trouble managing multiple network memberships. With thousands of new EV drivers every month, offering the simple credit card swipe that they are used to is a convenience they appreciate. About two thirds of our sessions at Point Reyes Station are credit card transactions instead of a membership card or phone activation."

Joost Van Abeelen, ABB's Global Director of Connected Services said:

"The global demand for the most common payment methods continues to grow as business models mature and the everyday user wants to use the payment solution they are familiar with. ABB has charging stations with credit card payment terminals around the world."