smive - the flexible car subscription

Online Platform
Software Prototype
Online portal
Published 28. January 2022

From a MVP to developing a joint business model in no time

Globally, the market for individual mobility – what people need and what is available – is changing. A German bank has recognized and addressed this with an all-new product: A car subscription model for private customers – giving them an intuitive and user-friendly software solution to rent instead of buy.

But innovative ideas often come with major hurdles attached. Which is why the bank approached Qvest Digital, to develop the new online car subscription portal as a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and validate the product idea on the market. The business model was then refined, very carefully and extensively, before the system went live: smive – the flexible car subscription.

A smart car subscription model for customers

Whether it's Netflix, e-scooters, or bicycles: subscribing is always more convenient and versatile than making a one-off purchase. That's why Bank11 and Qvest developed smive – the smart car subscription, giving private customers long-term car rentals that have never been easier to arrange. And unlike car-sharing, customers get to keep the car for themselves without sharing. It couldn't be simpler: Via an online portal, end customers can choose their vehicle and compare it with others. Customizable options include the choice of vehicle, mileage, rental period, and insurance conditions, with costs clearly visible at a glance. Once you've decided to subscribe, your vehicle of choice can be picked up from a local car dealer within seven days. One of the biggest challenges this project posed was finding a process that would be as convenient for those providing the vehicles as for customers, as well as establishing the online platform itself.

Swiftly achieve initial results

The online platform was developed jointly by Bank11 and Qvest and supported all the way up to launch. In the run-up to the collaboration, the smive core team carefully confirmed the market viability and developed the vision and concept.

On this basis, the so-called problem domain could already be penetrated within the first week with the help of a prototype. The agile approach was key to ensuring an excellent and solid start right from the word go, achieving visible results as soon as the website went live and bringing numerous car dealers on board as part of the process. Both the website and the entire retailer portal - including the checkout - were designed and programmed in Go, while the team were tasked with connecting all the necessary systems. Thanks to the agile scrum process, all stakeholders had the chance to monitor progress at frequently intervals and respond to challenges quickly.

One of the most exciting parts of the process was developing the subscription calculator, which includes all the key parameters within a complex formula used to calculate the subscription price. The platform runs in a Docker environment on the AWS Cloud, for easy scaling in line with requests.

An intuitive user interface for an outstanding user experience

Users’ expectations of service are sky-high these days. And it's not every day that you invest in a car subscription, either. This is why the checkout route was examined from various angles, before optimizing the user experience in all possible respects. From wireframes and clickdummies to icons and user flows, Qvest has rolled out an intuitive and user-friendly web design. The functionality, look and feel mean it couldn't be any easier or more fun to use for both traders and customers.

Software development to ensure customer benefits

The cooperation between Qvest and the finance company included establishing a business model, with which Bank11 – as one of Germany’s largest car loan providers – could expand its product portfolio, partnering existing carmaker customers.

Car dealers can now define subscription prices for their existing vehicles. The very comprehensive subscription calculator makes these both affordable for the end customer and profitable for the retailer. Accordingly, both sides benefit from the numerous advantages the digital format allows, e.g., swift availability, scope to cancel monthly, high flexibility and zero risk.

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