Data-driven mobile solutions paving the way for the future of urban mobility

Data-driven mobile solutions paving the way for the future of urban mobility

Note: This is a guest post by Marek Rannala, Mobility Statistics Product Manager at Positium. Positium is a data analytics company specialising in mobile positioning data for official statistics. They research location data to understand people’s activity spaces and improve modern statistics with timely and accurate data.

Cars have dominated urban environments around the world for over half a century. This situation has led to cities losing their human element, with the ever-increasing number of cars demanding colossal infrastructure changes to accommodate them, taking up public space, and having a harmful impact on people's health. Driven by modern data analytics capabilities, cities are looking for solutions to make mobility in urban areas sustainable. To do that, we need to understand the mobility of people.

Mobility is a complex combination of a multitude of factors, including human needs and choices. A personal car seems to have numerous advantages, making it impossible to compete with. As usual, simple stand-alone solutions will not help in the case of complex problems.

The latest promising solution is the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – a service that helps a person to use an optimum combination of sustainable travel modes: public transport, rental bicycle, scooter, taxi, carshare, rental car and an unlimited amount of walking. The service takes care of planning the trip using a combination of travel modes and allows the user to pay for it within a single mobile app and even subscribe to a monthly service.

The one-trip service comes in handy especially for tourists and visitors, as you just need to install the app and start using it. As the first analysis of data from the Whim app in Helsinki has shown, users of the service are strongly inclined to sustainable travel modes; so the MaaS concept looks promising.

There is just one thing: MaaS requires good-quality public transport, with the accessibility and frequency of the service being key factors. This is where Positium comes in. Positium provides insights about where people stay and move, based on the passive positioning of mobile phones. This is basically the travel demand, independent of which travel mode people are using.

Traditionally, for public transport, the demand has been derived from ticketing data, registry data on homes and workplaces, and also from surveys, covering a percentage of the population. While nowadays electronic ticketing data provides information on public transport use (which is only part of the demand) in an efficient way, registries are still static, contain many types of systematic errors and cannot give any knowledge other than where people live (registered place of residence) and work.

Surveys are even more problematic. While it is increasingly difficult and costly to gather even a few percent of the population into a proper sample, it is also general knowledge that people are not very accurate in describing their own travel habits. Passive mobile positioning is based on anonymous mobile use data, aggregated into population groups with an accuracy of a mobile base station’s coverage area, eliminating privacy concerns.

This means that all the clients of a single or several mobile operators are included, giving a good random profile of a society. Also, the data is available 24/7/365 in near real-time, while providing a possibility to go back in time and monitor changes over several years.

The latest local example of putting all this into practice is designing a new bus route network and a public bicycle rental network in Tartu in 2018. The networks are designed to connect to each other, providing seamless and flexible mobility options.

In just one year, Positium provided information on the mobility demand, based mostly on mobile positioning data, and WSP Finland used the data to design a totally new bus route network. The number of lines was reduced from 27 to just 13, service frequencies increased up to 10 minutes, while retaining the same accessibility and annual number of bus-kilometres.

Both networks will be launched in July 2019. We are yet to see what the impact of a big data-based combined service will be in Tartu, but it is certainly a big leap towards making the MaaS concept available in Estonia. For monitoring the impact, again, ticketing data, mobile app data and mobile positioning data will come in handy.

What would be the takeaway from all this? Big data, mobile solutions and comfortable payment systems have the power to change the world in a way that has been impossible so far. Mobility is just one domain that is at the beginning of a transformation; in the coming decades, a lot of changes can be expected to occur in other domains as well. Be ready!

Read more about Positium’s solutions at

Infographic: 4 services that should offer carrier billing

Infographic: 4 services that should offer carrier billing

By 2020, three quarters of the global population will be connected by mobile. Mobile phones are the device people carry with them all the time and use the most. Everything from shopping to watching TV to dating has moved to mobile.

Mobile payments are a natural choice for mobile-consumed content and on-the-go services as the payment device is already in the customer’s hand.

Here are 4 services that are a match made in heaven with carrier billing.

4 services that are a match made in heaven with carrier billing

Country data-sheet: mobile payments in Poland

Telekom Slovenije Google Play & Fortumo case study: doubling Google Play spend limits

This data-sheet gives a detailed look into the mobile payments landscape in Poland.

Poland has a population of 38 million people who all have mobile phones. Their smartphone penetration is as high as 70%. At the same time barely sixth of them have a credit card and the ownership is next to null for young adults.

In this report, we bring out data that helps navigate this region for digital merchants. We hope the report gives you a better understanding of the Polish digital ecosystem and helps you maximize the efforts of your payments strategy.

Enter your contact details below and download the paper immediately!

Telekom Slovenije Google Play & Fortumo case study: doubling Google Play spend limits

Telekom Slovenije Google Play & Fortumo case study: doubling Google Play spend limits

Telcos usually start off with lower spend limits, because they’re afraid people pay with carrier billing but leave their bills unpaid. This would be an obvious credit risk for the telco. The main concern with raising the spend limit is, if it will raise the number of problematic payments (and not the revenue).

Our latest case study looks at how Telekom Slovenije doubled their Google Play spend limit and how it affected their Google Play performance. It also takes a look at how a subscriber using Google Play differs from the rest of the users. Telekom Slovenije is the leading mobile operator in Slovenia with a 44% market share.

Telekom Slovenije has been offering direct carrier billing in Google Play to their mobile clients for many years now. In September 2018 they doubled their monthly Google Play spend limit from €30 to €60.

Download the case study and find out how doubling their spend limits for Google Play increased Telekom Slovenije's transaction volumes more than half in five months!

Converting readers into subscribers - convenience of your payments is crucial

Converting readers into subscribers - convenience of your payments is crucial
  • Simpler payment flows mean higher conversion. Card-based user journeys are outdated and also affected by PSD2 in Europe.

  • You need to include alternative payment methods for the readers who can’t or won’t make card payments.

  • Mobile payments are preferred due to their simplicity and security. That’s why they’re used by digital streaming services like Spotify and Netflix.

Turning readers into subscribers is the billion dollar question for the digital publishing industry. Almost half of publishers (44%) see subscriptions as a very important source of digital revenue, whereas digital display advertising and branded and sponsored content are seen as declining revenue sources.

Growing the percentage of subscribers is one of the most important goals for any digital service and its importance as a key performance indicator keeps growing. But how to get more people to actually subscribe?

One way to approach this challenge is to put yourself in the reader’s shoes and also analyze the data that you have on them. Data-driven decision making can help you pinpoint what is preventing them from becoming a subscriber and if can that reason be resolved. Data is the key to making informed daily decisions.

Some users start buying the subscription but don’t finish the transaction. At what point does the users give up? Might it be because the process is too long or they are taken aback by the offered payment methods? How to help them over the finish line?

Below we bring out a few ideas for making sure you’ve covered all angles with your payments strategy.

How to convert readers who leave the payment flow?

Convenience of the payment flow is crucial - simpler flows mean higher conversion. 27% of people have cancelled a purchase due to a lengthy payment process. 90% of digital publishers say simpler user flows and churn prevention are their key focus.

Most user journeys have been built with credit card payments in mind and thus involve additional steps that are not needed with alternative payment methods. With mobile payments only the user’s phone number is needed to process the payment, which means details about their address, location or ZIP code are just clutter.

Payment flows in Europe are additionally affected by the PSD2 directive that takes effect in the fall of 2019. It requires strong authentication for card-based payments, which means higher friction in the payment flow and a setback in revenue. Mobile payments offer a viable alternative, as the regulation doesn’t apply to carrier billing.

Loading speed times in the checkout flow need to be kept as low as possible as well. If load speed times can not be reduced, then at the very least users should be made aware of things going on in the background. For example, if the payment is being authorized, the users should be notified: “Please wait, authorizing payment, which may take up to 10 seconds”.

Finally the payment window should match your identity. Ending up in a different looking payment window reduces the reader’s trust. With most payment providers, it’s possible to whitelabel the payment window to match your visual identity.

Further trust can be added by displaying brands in the flow that the user knows - for example, with mobile payments showcasing the mobile operator’s logos makes it clear to the consumer that this is the channel that they will be charged through.

How to convert users who can’t or won’t use credit cards?

There will always be readers who can’t or won’t make card payments. You can make payments available for more people through offering alternative payment methods.

The latter may be the result of both fear and effort. You wouldn’t bother looking up your credit card information for a transaction of few euros - in many cases you probably wouldn’t even dare to share that information left and right. People today are more afraid of online fraud than getting robbed on the street.

Traditional bank-based payment methods are widely available in Western Europe. So why is carrier billing relevant and the 3rd most popular payment method for digital content in the region? Even though consumers have other payment methods to choose from, mobile payments are preferred due to their simplicity and security.

Readers do not need to sign into additional accounts, payments are completed in a few clicks and no personal data is shared online. The last point is especially relevant in the context of new privacy regulations (GDPR). As more and more content is consumed on mobile, it’s also obvious that paying with the device in hand is much simpler than trying to find and type in your card information.

It’s no wonder mobile payments saw a 152% rise in Western Europe in 2018. Digital streaming services like Spotify and Netflix offer mobile payments to their users all over the world - you can pay for both by mobile from the Philippines to Germany.

In summary…

Converting readers into subscribers is one of the most impactful things that digital publishers can do to grow their revenue. For example integrating mobile payments increased Aftonbladet’s subscription growth by more than 20%. If you see some segments underperforming compared to others with your existing payments setup, it would be a good idea to take a good look at your payment methods.

Fortumo provides digital publishers with PayRead, a frictionless payment solution for user and revenue growth. If interested, get in touch.

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