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Simplify Billing with CURRENT SmartCharge

Simplify Billing with CURRENT SmartCharge

Einar André Gasmann

10. Apr 2022 | 8 min read

Simplify Billing with CURRENT SmartCharge

For anyone involved in the business of charging, billing is a hot topic. Whether you’re a location manager or charge point operator, managing finances can take up considerable time. It’s also often difficult to get paid on time when there’s so much admin work needed. This becomes more complicated the more parties are involved and many existing solutions are set up to only pay out to two parties.

We’ve found that this often isn’t sufficient for modern organizations that need flexibility in how they collect money, bill users, and pay suppliers — not to mention offering configurability to match a range of business models. There’s another challenge in complying with local laws, taxes, and regulations, too, especially when working across different regions or countries.

In order to solve these challenges, ensure you get paid, and simplify the billing process, CURRENT has created a new solution that does so much more than facilitate payments. It allows businesses to:

  • Automatically create invoices for each party
  • Collect payments automatically
  • Automate license payments
  • Split payments between the owner, operator, system provider, and unlimited third parties
  • Handle relevant VAT requirements for each party/location
  • Ensure compliance with new laws and regulations
  • Create profitable new business models

Zero human interaction

The time it takes to manually invoice others, pay for licenses, differentiate between VAT amounts per product, manage third parties, and make pricing changes can limit your productivity and eat into your profits. We designed a billing solution that requires zero human interaction once set up. This frees up your team to work on other tasks while ensuring the finances of your charge points are handled.

It also gives you peace of mind knowing that all licenses are covered, all invoices have gone out on time, and all third parties have been paid. This saves checking and chasing once a month; SmartCharge automates it all for you.

How does this billing solution differ from what others offer?

CURRENT’s solution is more than just a simple way of billing customers. Solutions such as Stripe and PayPal simply facilitate transactions between different parties. What they can’t do is differentiate between different VAT rules or provide receipts with custom branding. Even when considering other charge point billing solutions, ours differs in a few distinct ways:

  • Created by charge point operators, for charge point operators
  • Automatically calculates each cut and collects payment
  • 100% automated requiring zero human interaction
  • Enables the ability to split payments between owner, operator, system provider, and an unlimited number of third parties
  • Allows third parties to sell their products and services to the location owner — for example, a service agreement with an electrician
  • Works with a range of business models to maximize profitability

The solution also helps you comply with relevant regulations. These have become increasingly strict, but with CURRENT you can ensure that you’re covered. This includes:

  • Creating an invoice for each cut taken by any party
  • Including relevant company information on each invoice
  • Differentiating between varying VAT rules based on the country, type of company, or specific region — for example, no VAT on charging in the north of Norway
  • Adhering to the rules for creating invoices on behalf of each party

The platform also gives you increased flexibility when it comes to your business model. It makes it possible to set specific prices for different locations, will handle spot pricing, and can be used to maximize profitability without the need for continued human interaction.

For location owners, there’s additional configurability as the platform will allow them to set a range of different price types. These include:

  • Startup cost
  • Energy cost
  • Duration cost
  • Occupied cost

These can even be based on set schedules. For example, offering free charging during the day to employees that work on-site or for fleet vehicles, then switching to a paid-for model in the evening and weekends — allowing the public to use the charge points for a fee. This allows both CPOs and location owners to maximize the profits from each charge point.

How it works

Once set up, the billing platform will take payment, pay license fees, create invoices, pay third parties, then distribute the profit between others (usually the owner, CPO, and system provider). On top of this, you’ll be able to easily look at revenue and payment data for each customer, as well as third parties. 

On a regular basis, the platform will calculate the cut for each involved party, generate invoices, then handle both collecting money and making payments. This gives you a clear paper trail that can be used to improve your business model, as well as for auditing purposes. For example, you might see that a specific site is more profitable than others and could use this information to increase profitability across other areas.

Setting Up Third-Party Products

A unique feature of the SmartCharge platform is the ability to add unlimited third parties to the billing system. For example, if you have an agreement with an electrician who services the charge points on a regular basis, the platform will collect the money from location owners, then pay a cut back to the electrician. This can all be automated so everyone is paid on time. This can be set up for any third party, allowing you to add an additional level of configurability.

Managing Multiple Locations

The SmartCharge platform gives you ultimate control over your locations and chargers while providing facility managers with additional configurability. This allows you to take a step back from the day-to-day running of your charge points while the platform automatically collects money, generates invoices, and more.

With the location package, operators can choose from a range of different business models and payment types. For example, you might choose to set a subscription per charging point, your cut for a charging session, and the cut for additional products and services — such as an electrician service agreement.

All these fields will be paid by the location owner to the operator. On top of this, you can also set the price for charging but give site managers the ability to change the price. This adds additional flexibility for things like spot pricing or demand pricing.

This stable, reliable system speeds up payment processing, eliminates the need for humans to make complex calculations on a regular basis, and even allows location owners to control how they charge end-users. The result is an all-in-one system that benefits everyone from the charge point owner to those charging their vehicles.

If you’d like to see how CURRENT’s SmartCharge platform can help your business, book a demo here.