How Mastercard plans to make EV charging payments easier

9 Aug 2023

Image: © rh2010/

Mastercard’s George Simon discusses the company’s plans to improve and simplify the payment infrastructure for EV charging.

Recently, a report from Juniper Research claimed that electric vehicle (EV) growth was being hindered by a lack of public charging infrastructure.

The report predicted that while the global number of EV charging points in service will grow from 14.2m this year to 45m in 2027, there will be a “significant gap” between public and home charger adoption. The report predicted that more than twice as many home chargers will be in service than public chargers by 2027.

Despite the efforts of companies like Go Eve to improve the public charging infrastructure, a major issue remains in what the report described as a “lack of standards around pricing and the apps used at various public charge points”.

In a blogpost for Mastercard, executive VP of market development George Simon referenced this issue when describing his own experience at a charging station during a long trip in Belgium.

“As a first-time user, I had to download a new app, input my payment details and verify my account before even thinking about charging my car,” said Simon. “While only minor in isolation, each step added time to my journey and represent the friction that EV sceptics often cite as a reason why they wouldn’t switch from fuel.

“Imagine the time I could’ve saved during my journey if I could’ve paid for my charging session with the tap or swipe of a card of my choice – and without the need for an app.”

To combat this issue and help improve the European EV charging infrastructure, Mastercard is working towards providing contactless payment capabilities at a wide range of public charging points across Europe.

According to Simon’s blogpost, this goal is already underway, with Mastercard equipping 100 charging stations in Austria with contactless payment capabilities.

To find out more about the company’s goal and the payment infrastructure of EV charging points, we spoke to Simon.

‘The key element is to ensure the integration of card payments is as simple and effortless as possible for operators’

Making EV payments EZ

Establishing a unified payment infrastructure for EV charging (EVC) in Europe seems like a difficult goal due to the complexities of multiple charging points and service providers. However, Simon says that Mastercard is working around this by working with payment service providers, as well as providing global standardised rules and best practices.

“It is critical that all charging networks and service providers across Europe can leverage our payment network and technology to offer an interoperable and uniform payment infrastructure.

“We are constantly working with payment service providers and the EVC industry to communicate around those standards and best practices.”

And what about data privacy and security? Due to the sensitive nature of payment transactions, these topics are major concerns for customers.

Simon describes the company’s strategy of privacy-by-design, where the company embeds multiple layers of privacy and security safeguards into the design of a product or solution, including “tokenisation, encryption and anonymisation”.

“The card payment industry is governed by strict rules and processes, but also regulatory frameworks that ensures security and data privacy. As such, every payment device and solution that leverages Mastercard’s network and technology needs to go through a strict process of certification to ensure compliance with security principles as well as the regulatory framework.

“We also have dedicated teams, internal rules, and processes that ensure data privacy when it comes to customer transactional information.”

Simple integration is key

As the adoption of EVs continues to grow, a question arises of how payment infrastructure will evolve to keep up with the increasing demand for charging stations.

Simon states that the card payment industry and its stakeholders are working hard to develop payment solutions that “could support the specificities of EV charging but also ensure it can keep up with its growth”.

“The key element is to ensure the integration of card payments is as simple and effortless as possible for operators.

“We are seeing many payment service providers develop payment solutions that enable one terminal to serve multiple charge points. That kind of innovation – facilitating the integration of card payments while supporting growth – will be key in the future.”

As for the future of EVC payment infrastructure, Simon believes there are multiple technological advancements that will shape the landscape.

“Contactless technology and the way it’s applied to EVC will continue to shape payments in the industry, enabling operators to integrate card payments in a simpler way and allowing customers to pay easily using digital wallets, for instance.”

In the long-term, Simon believes that the emergence of in-vehicle payments will also play a big role, as the “interoperability within the vehicle would create a truly effortless charging and payment experience for EV drivers”.

“Leveraging technologies such as tokenisation and authentication, car manufacturers can integrate payment as part of their ecosystem, enabling drivers to control and pay for a charging session directly from their car.”

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Colin Ryan is a copywriter/copyeditor at Silicon Republic