Shared mobility and recreational rentals have enjoyed a surge in demand over the past few years, with Movatic software providing the technical platform on which many programs operate.
From public or private bike and scooter shares, to kayak rentals and bike lockers and beyond, Movatic can power anything with a Bluetooth lock. Simple user interface? Check. Robust administrator dashboard? Check. With the rental and mobility sectors increasingly trending toward collaboration and consolidation to bring a best-in-industry offering to the end-user, it's no wonder operators are outsourcing software operations to the likes of Movatic. We are here for it.
So....why use Movatic software?
As Ansgar Strother, founder of Movatic, will tell you he really just wants to enable small operators to be successful and to provide the infrastructure for large operators to achieve their goals. It's all about building a networked community wherein all users of the Movatic software can access myriad systems across the globe with their singular login and rider app, making the rental experience simple and convenient.
I posed a few questions to Lynette Schumacher, Movatic's Head of Product & Customer Success, to learn about the features and functionality of the platform.
Morgan: What makes Movatic software user-friendly?
Lynette: From the renter's perspective, it really is as simple as downloading the app, setting up your profile, and scanning a QR code to access the equipment. The process is quick and requires minimal contact. From an operator's perspective, the standard Movatic app is comprehensive and reliable, with the branded options providing unlimited customizations to make the app your own.
Morgan: Tell me about customizations in the Movatic software.
Lynette: The customizations are endless. Let's say you want to have a system that is 100% free to anyone with a specific email address - done. You want to give a bike-share rider an option of a fixed rate or pay as you go? Yep, we do that. Don’t want to deal with customer support inquiries via email? No problem - we have customer support fully integrated into our platform. You are truly able to customize it to be whatever experience you want. Bikes, scooters, bike lockers, kayaks - those are just a few of the mobility types we provide, and with each of those, we support a wide variety of hardware and lock options.
Morgan: Can you help me understand how a single Movatic user account works?
Lynette: A user’s account on Movatic is platform-wide - once you’ve signed up on Movatic or on a branded app (a customized operator app, powered by Movatic) you won’t need to sign up anywhere else. One and done! If you’re lucky to be in a community that has multiple offerings, you could start your day with a beautiful kayak ride and end it riding around downtown on an electric bike. The ride possibilities are endless and at your fingertips. You can zoom out at anytime in the app and see all the different locations near you as well as across the country and onto another continent. Keep in mind, however, that some systems on the Movatic app are private and require credentials to access. I encourage everyone to download the Movatic app and check out the operator network as you plan your next adventure.
Morgan: I love this. So with my Movatic app, I can access different vehicles in different Movatic-enabled communities across the country...across the world, actually?
Lynette: Sure can. Your Movatic account enables you to see all systems hosted within the Movatic app. Each community will have its own pricing schemes or membership options (although communities will often extend free membership pricing to neighboring systems), but the access is super simple once you've created your initial rider profile with an associated payment method. Say you’re on vacation in Florida and use the Movatic app to do a scooter rental, but you go home to Atlanta and see there are numerous bike shares all around you. Sign up once, use it endlessly. Movatic supports 135 currencies in 44 countries and 28 languages.
Morgan: Is there a wallet feature?
Lynette: Yes, we provide wallets within our branded apps. Users may load their wallet ahead of time to draw down on their balance as they rent or ride. The wallet also allows 3rd parties to subsidize trips by adding credits to riders' accounts. We often see operators use this functionality in specific marketing & engagement campaigns. The administrators of the program can set custom thresholds, requiring a user to have a minimum wallet balance before starting a rental. These customizations may be applied across an entire system or to a specific rental rate or membership option. It's one step in the right direction to providing more equitable access to shared mobility.
Morgan: OK let's talk trip and membership pricing options. There are so many ways an operator might want to structure pricing schemes, with and without special tiers for varying segments of the community. Can you provide an overview of the options here?
Lynette: Absolutely! We provide a way to have memberships that are paid, free via email domain authorization or promo code, and so on. We know one size doesn’t fit all and we allow for everyone to tailor the software to their needs. You can set up multiple rates that a rider can choose from, as well as provide time-limited coupons or unlimited use. We have options to limit the number of rentals or to waive a credit card hold for a specific membership which might help with different end-users.
Morgan: Neighboring communities may want to partner on some level to bring more of a regional program - let's just say it's a bike share program - to their residents and visitors. How does Movatic software make this possible?
Lynette: Multiple systems can be truly unified under a singular brand (with one fleet and its single back-end database and pricing structure), or multiple systems can retain separate brands, fleets, data, and revenue while incentivizing riders to utilize the systems in their neighboring communities. In the second scenario, cities may choose to provide free or discounted ride time in the other regional Movatic communities, or the systems could be set up so that one membership provides access to any participating program in the area (which can be a nearby bike share, scooter share, e-bike share, bike locker system, or kayak rental service, for example). This is a huge differentiator from other software providers - being able to provide separate but connected systems within a region, allowing users to enjoy easy and affordable access to multiple programs - within cities and within entire regions. We’re breaking down barriers by breaking down borders!
Morgan: That’s so awesome. So can you share some best practices for operators looking to create regional shared mobility programs that are locally managed, with regard to how the individual programs are structured?
Lynette: First I'd call out pricing. If the participating communities have competing pricing structures, that would be off-putting to the riders. You'd want to create as cohesive an experience as possible, so riders may easily participate in the programs within each of the region's communities with a unified set of expectations. Branding is also a consideration. It may be interesting to explore a regional brand element that can be incorporated into the individual cities’ on-bike branding as a way to indicate the reciprocity among the participating communities. The Movatic software is really flexible here, and operators may choose to structure memberships to encourage participation at neighboring programs by providing automatic discounts or free ride time. For example, riders who join a bike share membership could automatically unlock a discount or free ride time for a nearby scooter program. Operationally, regional programs make a ton of sense as there is an economy of scale there with regard to on-the-ground maintenance and support for the program. The software enables mechanics to be assigned to specific hardware & maintenance tickets so that the teams are operating efficiently across the region. Regional programs are just really good for the communities and for the operators.
Morgan: It seems like we just scratched the surface here today, and I am sure there is so much more to learn about the ways Movatic can make shared mobility and rentals easy on operators and riders. Where may people go to learn more about the software features and functionality?
Lynette: Definitely check out the Operator Documentation at https://documentation.movatic.co/, and I'd also recommend downloading the Movatic app to get a sense of the rider experience.
Morgan: Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with me today.
Lynette: My pleasure. We are always here to answer software questions and to help take the stress out of the rental industry. Our current partners may always contact us at email@example.com, and new inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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