Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a relatively new concept that aims to integrate various means of transportation into a single platform such as buses, trains, metro, bikes, and more.
The idea is to use a single app to access and pay for different transport modes within a city or beyond; and the app will give options to allow a traveller to select the most suitable mode – ultimately replacing car ownership for carbon-free options.
In the last five years, we have seen an emergence of MaaS start-ups, yet they have been struggling to attract new customers due to high prices and poor user experience. Likewise, none of these business models are able to provide a fully integrated solution to incentivise responsible behaviour.
A study by the Boston Consulting Group (2019) explained that in order for these platforms to be economically and sustainably viable, they should be able to promote eco-friendly travel behaviour through incentives .
MobiFi believes it can fill this gap by leveraging its technology to reinvent the way people move around. The project wants to gamify the commuting experience by allowing people to unlock rewards for their eco-friendly decisions – similar to role-playing games with levelling systems. The idea is to offer digital assets to travellers if they use sustainable transport modes.
Within the app, users will have different options – if booking an e-bike or commuting at off-peak hours, these would be considered as responsible choices, thus eligible for rewards. Users would start collecting points and advance in their gaming journey to reach the next level and receive different prizes. The highest the level, the better the reward.
Once they reach a level, they will automatically see the rewards credited on their account – they will receive digital assets such as utility tokens that could be exchanged, traded, used for other mobility services within the ecosystem, or simply cashed out.
The start-up is also exploring more creative ideas to be deployed through smart contracts such as utility NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) badges that would for example offer discounts on next trips, free parking hours, or exclusive brand benefits such as tickets to sporting events or Amazon vouchers.
Yudi Xu, CEO and Project Lead, Mobifi said, “Our technology is built from the ground up and is intended to transform the mobility industry. As we understand the main challenge is to encourage people to ditch their cars, we will start by focusing on the drivers by offering incentives for using indoor parking to free up space on the streets.”
The company intends to release its mobile app in the Netherlands by the end of the year, and will start integrating other services such as public transports and e-scooters into its platform and then expand to the UK and other European countries in 2022.
 Joël Hazan, Lang, N. and Hind El Abassi Chraibi (2019). Seeking Perpetual Motion with Mobility as a Service. [online] BCG Global.
About the Author: Jores Merlo is responsible for Business Development at Mobifi.