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VW’s Moves Further Into Mobility With Purchase Of Mobile Payments Firm

Volkswagen Wednesday moved to solidify its leadership in mobility services as it purchased PayByPhone, a parking payments processing service. VW Financial Services is now a leader in mobility service payments.
Posted: December 28, 2016 - 11:55PM
Author: Marc Stern

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When Volkswagen decides to get serious about something, you can bet the automaker does it quickly and in a big way. For instance, VW has been making moves into the mobility market. It has purchased a major piece of a mobility company – Hubject; and it has also started its own. And, completing this particular trifecta, it has just purchased PayByPhone, a parking-payment company.

Leader In Mobility Services

Based in Vancouver, PayByPhone has processed more than $250 million this year. The mobility payments firm is now a part of VW’s Financial Services unit. VW’s acquisition has made VWFS (VW Financial Services) into the leader in mobile payments for parking, VW said in a statement. The cost of the deal was not disclosed.

Part of a wide-ranging strategy to make VW tops in mobility services, VWFS purchased a 92 percent stake in Sunhill Technologies, the leading German mobile payments firm earlier this year. VWFS oversees the automaker's car loan and leasing operations.

VW’s latest acquisition stretches the automaker’s lead. PayByPhone has been adding about 7,000 users per day to its customer base of 12.5 million. Its purchase also brings sites in London, Paris, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle into VW’s fold. The unit will continue its primary mission of processing parking payments.

VW’s Moia Service

Meantime, VW’s Moia ride-hailing and car-sharing subsidiary, set up early this month, will focus on its base services right now. The move to set up Moia is part of Matthias Mueller’s response to mobility services, as well as autonomous driving and electric power. It is also part of the strategy he is following to help put Dieselgate behind the company.

Moia was established as a division which gives it the same status as VW’s branded vehicle divisions. It illustrates how central to VW’s strategy the new division is. The automaker believes that ultimately it will generate a huge chunk of change – billions of euros – for the carmaker. It is all part of VW’s plan to emerge from its self-inflicted diesel emissions scandal.

Sources: Bloomberg, Automotive News

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