Visa has stepped up efforts to bring a European standardised system for interoperable payments in electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the old continent.

There is currently no such widespread system which halts EV drivers from having a choice of payment method. The only possibility at present is to have signed to an app or a provider programme. 

Further enhancing the problem, consumers can also find themselves in a situation where they can’t charge their vehicle due to not being a part of the specified subscription service.

Visa is underlining the need for a more user-friendly EU charging industry which integrates a loose payment system, allowing consumers to make open-loop and interoperable payments.

Charlotte Hogg, CEO, Europe, Visa, commented: “We believe the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is key to helping Europe meet its net zero targets. Ensuring people can easily pay to charge their vehicles is essential if we want them to go electric. At the moment, this is not the case. We believe this must change so consumers have the choice they deserve.

“We want to play our part in finding solutions to this challenge which is why we’ve launched an industry consultation on how contactless and digital payments can be accepted as standard. We’re also looking forward to participating as a member of CharIN to advance the debate.”

The company is planning to start talks with EV charging point manufacturers to find a solution to the limiting environment, bringing the widespread acceptance of interoperable contactless and digital payments into the industry. As of now, only a handful of EU countries have taken steps towards any changes. 

Visa is also joining the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN) which would make it the first financial institution with a full membership in the organisation. This partnership aims to bring the standardised system one step closer, as CharIN aims to bring together leaders across the e-mobility sector in an effort to build a better infrastructure that allows for a faster EV adoption. 

Claas Bracklo, Chairman, CharIN e.V., added: “Since we are reaching a tipping point for electric vehicle adoption, the need for a global standard to connect infrastructure and to provide a seamless experience for electric vehicle drivers has become more important than ever.

“While CharIN has been working for many years now with OEMs, charger manufacturers, software and component suppliers, energy providers, utilities, and many other stakeholders of the EV charging value chain, we recognize that also the ease and consistency of applicable payment methods are critical to a smooth customer experience. Therefore, we are thrilled to have Visa on board of our alliance now willing to contribute with their wealth of experience to make sure that the customer payment experience will be easy, fast, and secure.”