Deploy a payment terminal
A terminal that accepts Visa ensures that any driver can charge at your station. Contactless payment solutions are particularly attractive options, and they are growing in popularity in part because they cost less to implement and preferred by cardholders.
Understanding of digital payment solutions
Merchants may need to offer digital solutions, such as mobile app payments, at charging stations. These solutions usually require downloading an app or carrying a special tag to make payment. Charging operators with digital solutions should consider adding card-present (e.g. tap to pay) solutions, which foster interoperability and easy payment for a customer who may not have access to an app or tag or have challenges connecting.
Use the correct merchant category code (MCC)
All public charging stations must be classified with MCC 5552 under Visa’s rules. Banks offer fuel and other rewards based on MCC, so using the right code is better for customers and can reduce customer service calls. Under these rules, merchants also offering parking services are permitted to use the MCC that represents the highest sales volume of their business. However, coding sales from charging and parking separately is an even better solution.
Provide a transparent checkout experience
Merchants can pick from several authorisation models when obtaining approval from banks for electric charging transactions. These models are different from those used by petrol fuel stations.
There are two common models used for electric charging transactions. The first involves estimating a “best-guess” amount and truing up to the final amount later. The second involves using a known amount that is either (a) preselected by the customer or (b) determined by sending authorisation for the exact amount after the charging session has finished.
If using an estimate (per the first model), Visa recommends that merchants communicate that estimate to customers and assure them that any over-authorization will be reversed. For more questions about authorisation best practices, contact your acquirer.
Note: European merchants may need to give authorisation models additional consideration to ensure compliance with strong customer authentication (SCA) rules.