Page 43

interview What is the main business of EMONEY GROUP? EMONEY GROUP is focusing on designing, building and operating digital ecosystems, with specific focus on municipal and transport services. In more practical terms, we are currently active in city-card, transport fare collection and contactless payment solutions. Can you be more specific about what digital ecosystems mean? A digital ecosystem is the alignment and collaboration of social and technological systems in a single, open and mutually beneficial environment. Similar to nature’s ecosystems, it contains and serves the interactions of people, information, interfaces and the governing rules. Our role goes well beyond the purely technical design and services – we believe the critical factor is to be able to merge the technical capability with the needs of the local environment. And we believe EMONEY GROUP possesses a unique combination of competences in these areas. The company is fairly young, how has it established itself so far with your clients? EMONEY GROUP itself is a relatively new company, its origins date to middle of 2012. But it was created by restructuring several existing companies into a new group, so the history really dates back before year 2000. Also, the EMONEY GROUP team is made up of seasoned professionals, some of them carry more than 10–20 years of experience in the payment and related industries. What is more important, however, is how we are being seen by our clients. For example, last week I met with the city hall officials of one our municipal clients after completing a fairly massive upgrade project of existing systems and optimization of their processes. I was told on several occasions that our team did a superb job, impressing with professional attitude, diligence and expertise ready to share and assist, even at odd times of the day and week. That is a stellar feedback for the hard work of our teams! What is EMONEY’s competitive advantage? We at EMONEY GROUP believe that our major value is that we combine international expertise, local execution and strong cooperation with local industries. To make it clearer: we believe that it makes no sense to use a cookiecutter approach, where one-size-fits-all method forces the client to adapt to an existing solution. Instead, we rather adapt to the local reality to maximize the value for the client. It requires close cooperation with local partners and taking advantage of local expertise. To give you an example: in a recent project in Mexico we were originally planning to import purely European solution for payments on buses – the most common public transport in Mexico. In the end we decided instead to work closely with a local industrial partner. Albeit it is a fairly small company, their solution was superior for their environment to anything we have seen before. It is our general approach and proves very effective, because we also get much better understanding of the local realities and how to address them effectively. EMONEY GROUP is involved in one of the most discussed projects in the Czech Republic – the Opencard. Can you tell us more about it? In many ways, Opencard is actually a very successful project, the largest contactless smartcard program in the CEE region. It is being used by more than 1,2 million users (i.e. more than 11% of Czech population) using it daily for various services: e.g. public transport, library services, payment for parking, discounts, etc.. For more than 7 years of growth now, without any significant technical issues. It is a shame that it’s discussed more in a political context than from the service and technical perspective. Because it slows down a pragmatic discussion and decision making about the future of the program and creates a false impression that there is something fundamentally wrong with the underlying service and solution, which is not true. Our role in Prague is to maintain and develop the ecosystem under the leadership of the municipality, which we have taken over in the beginning of 2013 from the original supplier. Every day, more than one million people seamlessly use the service and every year the ecosystem manages more than a billion of Czech crowns in travel & parking credits. This is the best proof of the quality of the solution and of our services. But we also have lots of ideas how to innovate a program like this and we are fully prepared to be the city’s long-term partner in its journey.


EMONEY GROUP – Innovator for the digital ecosystems in transport & municipal services EMONEY GROUP is an international company, focused to design, build and operate innovative digital ecosystems in transportation, municipal services and cashless payments. Our team of professionals has extensive experience in building and running such businesses based on smartcards & mobile technologies in transportation, micro-payments, and municipal services. EMONEY GROUP brings together the best-of-breed models and components in the world of micropayments, ticketing, smartcards and automated fare collection. Using proven methods and technologies to effectively combine global experiences with a thorough understanding of local needs and opportunities. The company works intensively with local industries like equipment manufacturers, load network operations, retailers, etc. EMONEY’s core business areas are smart-card and mobile solutions for municipalities, regional governments, transport and retail businesses; covering mainly ticketing, micro-payment, e-ID, and e-Vouchers applications. EMONEY’s approach is focus to build a value for program owners as well as it’s users, and connecting the needs of all stakeholders, including the scheme owners, transportation companies, load network operators, as well as citizens. The company has its headquarters in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, with activities around the globe, currently with projects in Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe as well as South East Asia. EMONEY GROUP experts have played key roles in building the biggest public transport smart card programs, for example the Dutch OV-Chipkaart program, Octopus Card in HongKong, EasyCard in Taipei and other similar programs.

REDQ is one of the recent successful projects EMONEY GROUP participated in, which is smartcard ticketing program in Queretaro, Mexico launched in Autumn 2013

EMONEY GROUP also participates in standardization activities and is member of several organizations active in ticketing and micropayments standardizations, like the OSPT Alliance, Open Ticketing Institute and others.

Leaders Magazine II/2014 43