The next wave of widespread EV adoption in Europe largely depends on addressing many of the problems that early adopter EV drivers have faced, such as the availability of chargers and the need for easy ad-hoc payments.

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) by the European Commission, taking effect on April 13, 2024, is the first step at standardizing the EV driving experience, proposing the use of payment terminals, or other non-subscription-based ad-hoc payment means for ease of use.

Along with the many benefits, such as increased user-friendliness and better utilization of the charging stations, ad hoc payments implementation within the deadline may present CPOs with a number of decisions to make – such as hardware and software used, additional financial investments (e.g. purchase payment terminals), maintenance, and user support.

Understanding the available ad-hoc payment solutions can help CPOs make informed choices about the necessary resource allocation and the best approach going forward.

AMPECO’s ad-hoc payments solutions

AMPECO has teamed up with OCPP-compliant charge point manufacturers and payment terminal manufacturers to stay ahead of the trend and ensure that customers can meet the April 13 deadline.

As a result, customers can choose from a number of methods that can help implement ad-hoc payments right away, or build towards a phased approach for the entirety of their charger deployment. Depending on locations, or charger types, the methods will vary in cost or complexity. 

Ad-hoc payments: 4 ways public CPOs can rely on AMPECO to comply with AFIR - The next wave of widespread EV adoption in Europe largely depends on addressing many of the problems that early adopter EV drivers have faced, such as the availability of chargers and the need for easy ad-hoc payments.

Implementing AFIR in practice

As AMPECO customer, you can select the most suitable AFIR implementation strategy depending on needs and budget:

1. Using a web portal

If your strategy doesn’t require installing payment terminals, using a web portal can be a cost-effective solution that allows EV drivers to charge at your stations without registering or authenticating using a mobile app.

This option is also very appropriate for chargers that don’t have a display where you can include an electronic QR code for the specific EVSE and session payment location.

AMPECO’s white-label capabilities allow you to obtain your own branded web URL of the kind app.yourname.domain where users can access chargers and start charging sessions.

Simply include the web URL in a convenient location on the station, and let drivers charge without registration or downloading a mobile app. The driver can optionally provide an email address to receive a receipt or skip this step altogether. In your backend, this user and session will appear as Anonymous.

Ad-hoc payments using a web portal

2. Using a system-generated QR code on your station display

Another good option, in case your stations have displays, is the use of an electronic QR code dispalyed on the charge point screen. After scanning the code with a smartphone, the user is redirected to a corresponding price display and payment for charging for the particular EVSE, where they undergo an anonymous workflow similar to the option above.

Note: As of writing this blog, the debate is still ongoing, whether a dynamic QR code will be required, or a static code will be sufficient to comply with AFIR. There are initial signs that the EU Commission is giving up its strict view and will continue to allow the static QR code.

A notable benefit for CPOs using an electronically generated QR code, will be that they don’t need to think about placing stickers on their stations anymore. This will also make it much easier if and when migrating chargers, as it eliminates the need for re-directing existing links to new locations. The QR codes will be system-generated for each EVSE and displayed electronically.

Option A: Software-generated

Those chargers that have screens and are OCPP 2.0.1 compliant can have a solution that will send the dynamic QR code from the platform in the form of a display message. AMPECO is actively reaching out to major vendors to ensure this version of the solution is well-tested and ready to go with as many charger types as possible. 

Option B: Hardware-generated

In certain cases, it is also possible and practical for the hardware manufacturer to handle the QR-code generation locally.

The stations can generate the code using an EVSE URL configuration key available from the AMPECO platform, where the charge point can handle the dynamic part internally. Thus, every time the displayed QR code will be different, but will refer to the corresponding EVSE ID assigned within the management platform.

Such a local solution may work well in cases of connectivity loss where a connection with the CPMS may be unavailable.

3. Installing a payment terminal

Payment terminals, also known as credit/debit card terminals, are devices used to read your credit/debit card. They send the data over to a payment processor to execute the transaction. With a payment terminal, an EV driver can simply swipe their credit/debit card and charge the EV.

AMPECO is well ahead of the curve, having working integrations with a number of industry-standard payment terminal brands, including Nayax, Payter, Pax, Worldline, Windcave and Crane.

Depending on budget and hardware vendor preferences, CPOs may decide to purchase payment terminals separately or buy stations with embedded payment terminals. Both methods will differ in how the integration with the payment terminal is realized and how session authorization is handled.

Option A: Payment terminal embedded in charging station

In this case, the charge point uses its own integration with the payment terminal, where the charge point can be configured to send authorization requests with a special prefix that will notify the CPMS to authorize the charging session and tag its selected payment as “Payment Terminal”. User data comes in as Anonymous.

Option B: Standalone payment terminal

With standalone payment terminals, additional work must be done on integration with the payment terminal hardware. The CPMS backend communicates separately with the charge point to start and stop the session on one side and the payment terminal on the other.

Payment terminal integration with AMPECO

In scenarios including payment terminals, maintaining multiple integrations can be more costly and resource-consuming. In this sense, CPOs may need to perform a cost-benefit analysis for maintaining individual payment terminals vs. other solutions, e.g. a kiosk solution per location.

4. Installing a payment kiosk per location

Using a central payment terminal per location is another AFIR-approved solution, where you can control several charging points from one display and tap a credit card to pay for a session. The advantage of such a solution is that no multiple payment terminals need to be maintained, saving both upfront and ongoing servicing costs.

The user experience can be designed in several different ways, such as starting/stopping the session from the payment terminal or the charging station. 

The following flow demonstrates selecting the EVSE at the kiosk payment terminal display, after which the session is started by tapping your card.

Payment terminal workflow with AMPECO

Alternatively, not shown here, selecting the connector and starting the session can be done on the charger screen or directly by plugging the selected cable if a screen is not available.

The kiosk solution requires a payment model terminal whose display can accommodate multiple EVSE selections, and a custom application can be created for communication with the CPMS and the stations. 

Such a payment terminal is, for example, the Worldline Valina featuring a 3.54-inch display and an Android-based environment that allowed AMPECO to create a kiosk app that works with the connected stations.

Explore AMPECOs payment integration options

AMPECO’s numerous hardware integrations with payment terminal providers, and out-of-the-box integrations with industry-standard payment processors make it possible for CPOs and charge point OEMs to implement a variety of AFIR-compliant ad hoc payment scenarios. 

Talk to AMPECO’s dedicated integration team to determine your best options and plan your AFIR compliance strategy.


Vera Iordanova

Product Marketing Manager

About the author

Vera is a long-time B2B marketer, passionate about promoting the value of technology in implementing innovative business models.