The startup Vottun, a platform that develops technologies that facilitate interoperability between different blockchains platforms, develops together with Banco Santander and the Municipal Transport Company of Madrid (ETM) the project of a single payment application for various transport services or mobility in Madrid, the capital of Spain.
Luis Carbajo, CEO of Vottun, told CriptoNoticias that they are currently moving forward with the pilot project to create an application that unites onboarding (customer registration) and payment of all transport applications through a blockchain. This service is expected to be ready for next year .
In his opinion, with this plan the EMT wants to facilitate access to payment with Santander Bank when citizens use different means of transfer .
According to Carbajo, the solution is to provide a unique registration of facial identification and payment to all operators who use the MaaS Madrid application of EMT, which maps all the mobility of the city and allows to know the mobility services available in real time . It will serve in the short term for two bus companies, the Madrid Metro and its surroundings, along with four groups of taxi drivers.
The challenge in transport payment
On the reason why the Vottun project was chosen by the EMT, Carbajo explained that it was subject to the offer of a payment and transport tokenization challenge as a service. Therefore, the fact that six corporations, including Banco Santander , ETM, Masterd Card and the construction company Ferrovial, were launched with startups was taken into account. They also achieved the participation of 300 firms from around the world. In the end there were six winners, among which Vottun remained.
Similarly, he explained that the presence of the EMT becomes important for Banco Santander, as it has a tender for payments over the next five years. Hence the interest of doing this project together with them.
Currently if the user wants to take a skateboard or electric motorcycle service, or a shared car, he has to register in each of these systems. What Vottun raises is a blockchain-based identity system, in which the citizen can take any type of transfer service directly, without having to register data.
Luis Carbajo, CEO of Vottun
In his opinion, the application will allow the payment to be made in a simple and transparent way . He also said that Madrid has about thirty companies that provide a wide range of means of transport and mobility services. They are distributed in different applications, with their own identification and payment systems, and Madrid residents must provide their information on each occasion.
“The problem that the EMT is solving with the proposal has to do with time , which depends on the integration of the systems that Vottun is doing now,” he explained.
A future business model
Carbajo stressed that the blockchain project is financed by Santander and EMT and the interest they have is that it adds an additional service that they can then offer to mobility operators within Madrid. This obviously creates a business model for them, in which they can recover the investment through the additional induction service and payment records through an application.
For the CEO of Vottun, the technology associated with blockchain can be used to solve the problem posed by the EMT. In fact, the use of blockchain is definitely necessary in this type of ecosystem , «since we are talking about the participation of more than 40 companies each with their different databases. Being able to use blockchains technologies to share information in a safe and private and certified way among these participants is very positive, ”he says.
In this regard, it points out that Vottun will provide the platform related to the issue of payments and does not need to make any type of reconciliation between databases because these are permanent and shared among all the members of the system, so that these payments can be made in a way direct.
Carbajo stressed that the node infrastructure is managed by Vottun with transport and mobility companies in the Spanish capital. As for the key properties of the platform, the networks chosen are Hyperledger and Ethereum . ” Thanks to the Vottun protocol, we can handle data in both public and private blockchain, which is very interesting for this case,” he said.
He also pointed out that Vottun’s protocol is agnostic to the blockchain used, “so we can vary the blockchain platform if performance and scalability needs demand it in the future.
Regarding the database, he reiterated that the benefits of using blockchain are related to the ease of identity verification , along with the exchange of certified data and the elimination of data reconciliation for payments between multiple sources.