Imagine unlocking an electric bike, without having to download a new application? Or to create an account? It is now possible, and it happens in Finland, in Helsinki. Indeed, the American payment leader, Mastercard has just announced in its last press release, the partnership concluded with Freebike, a free-floating e-bike service. A service that is now accessible with any credit card, without registration. Zoom on this innovation which may be adopted very soon in other big cities…
“Designed with convenience and simplicity in mind”
With just a squeeze of the brake and a tap of their card, the user is able to unlock the bike. An experience made possible by the combination of Mastercard’s “Tap & Go” payment technology and Freebike’s “Tap & Ride”.
As stated by Pekka Laaksonen, Country Manager of Mastercard Finland, “Using Freebike is easy and seamless, as anyone who carries a payment card can use them. In delivering the world’s first-ever tap and ride electric bikes, Freebike has dramatically simplified the user experience and removed some of the largest barriers to entry for potential riders.“
With no startup or unlocking fees, users pay 15 cents per minute, without any time limit. A cost that can be monitored in real-time on a screen on each two-wheeler. In addition, in order to encourage users to leave their electric bicycles in the stations provided for this purpose, a penalty of €1.50 will be deducted for those who leave them on the road. A step towards a more attractive and practical city! Virtual stations are located on the screens of the bikes, but also on helsinki.freebike.com.
What next, Helsinki?
Far from being a coincidence, the Finnish capital was naturally chosen as a test city. Indeed, as stated in the press release, it is “because of its status as an innovative city and suitability for trialing new, high-tech products.” Currently, 1,100 electric bikes are equipped with the system. Bikes are managed by the supplier Rolan Oy.
We are fascinated to be a part of the premiere of this cutting-edge technology, which will bring a new level of convenience to the everyday travel of Helsinki residents.Aki Laiho, CEO AT ROLAN OY
Then, next year, the two companies plan to increase the number of bicycles, with the ambition to extend this system to other cities in Finland. To be continued…