The following article is a summary of a webinar, hosted by Coastr and Smartcar, on contactless rental technology and the security concerns that have evolved as a result of digital transformation within the vehicle rental sector.
In our Contactless Rental Technology Webinar, Lee Anderson, our Director of Sales and Partnerships, and George Szundi, Director of Marketing at Smartcar, discussed security and the changing dynamics of rental solutions in relation to customer trust, data security, privacy and more.
In our view, everyone - from rental operator to customer -
benefits from digital solutions within the vehicle rental space
But we understand that with new tech comes new adoption issues, new questions, new worries and new stresses.
As Lee, our Director of Sales and Partnerships, mentions in our new webinar the future of contactless, digital-first rental operations is incredibly positive - features such as wireless automation and the IoT will make rental operations even more seamless and efficient; fail-safe digital identity and damage checks will transform onboarding and vehicle maintenance turnaround; and as capabilities improve, so too does the overall rental business, especially around sustainability and improving access to EVs.
Plus, digital platforms offer seamless access to data so operators, insurers and customers can benefit from a protected, accessible data-sharing arrangement, helping mitigate risk and improve costs for the end user.
All in all, the future is bright!
But there are and will continue to be new tech myths that arise, especially as the traditional barriers to data access, confidentiality and payment security evolve and are made more efficient.
Security of rental fleet operations
One of the biggest misconceptions in the vehicle rental industry is that more tech means compromise, or that “contactless” means unsecured.
To the contrary, Coastr have built a suite of digital tools fit for the modern operator and consumer that meet any security issues head-on and we see it as a foundational part of our company to help rental operators scale up their business securely via technology.
Here’s how we achieve this:
We offer live location tracking on all integrated vehicles, so you always know where vehicles are located.
Utilise remote immobilisation to secure your asset in case of theft or misuse.
Lock and unlock the car remotely through our Smartcar partnership.
Dive into driver behaviour insights at the touch of a button to identify at-risk drivers EG: divers displaying harsh cornering or breaking, speeding, crash detection etc.
You can enable real-time vehicle health diagnostics DTC Codes from a single control point.
All of these features, and more, help increase the longevity and cost-effectiveness of your fleet through predictive maintenance, fewer accidents, lower fuel costs, and of course recovering stolen vehicles safely.
Rental customer identity and verification
At Coastr, we feel that the digital augments the human, and helps perfect access to information and security of that information.
Security issues regarding fraud claims or identity fraud are exacerbated by legacy systems of operational management (for example, operations still running in the paper era), that make effective customer diligence harder and more labour-intensive.
Our digital rental platform offers seamless ID security, and we guarantee effective KYC and ID verification via the following platform features:
Two-factor authentication to double-check whether the customer’s identity is legitimate, providing stronger protection against unauthorised access.
All transactions are encrypted.
Customer digital signatures pre- and post-rental.
A near-future of biometric verification (with products ready to launch in the coming months!)
DVLA and regulatory visibility - all our platform users have direct access to DVLA data and can view endorsements, offences and points all in one place, in order to validate customers’ identities and reduce risk from fraudulent customers. We are in the process of extending this feature to other authorities in other countries.
Privacy challenges and issues
Privacy isn’t just a vehicle rental issue - it’s an issue that sits at the heart of all digital mobility connections and relationships.
In reaction to customer pain points around data storage, access and GDPR legislation, Coastr has taken an approach where trust, above all else, is amplified:
We’ve adopted a privacy-by-design approach where we integrate privacy considerations into the design, engineering and infrastructure of our connected services.
Our full-stack mobility platform stores sensitive information like digital signatures, contracts and customer details on a GDPR-compliant, secure AWS cloud, offering unlimited storage and instant access.
All information, including vehicle, driver, location and other tracking data, is available only to the specific customer. We don’t share customer data with third parties for commercial use.
We consider ourselves stewards of data, not advertisers or sellers of it. We also believe that rental companies and car-share schemes must provide clear and explicit information to customers concerning what data is retained and how to delete it.
EV Adoption and Awareness
Whilst many of the points above refer to physical vehicle security and demystifying security for customers, we also want to protect the environment and help rental operations go green.
Coastr are working with one of Europe's largest energy companies on trying to thread the needle of connecting customers to EVs where infrastructure may be limited. In short, how can more people access more EVs, easier?
Our platform, integrated with Smartcar’s keyless entry solution, means any customer can book an EV, directly from a provider, from their charging forecourt, minimizing issues around charging locations and making it easy for customers to access EVs and drive them independently of a broker or middleman.