Ride with me: the story of Swan’s partnership with B2B mobility provider uRyde

Mobility provider uRyde partners with Swan to issue virtual cards for their mobility budget product

Max Cutler
July 21, 2023

Opportunity: In Germany, a car transports an average of 1.2 people per commute. That's just not efficient. uRyde is building a mobility platform that promotes ridesharing and as well as other forms of climate-friendly transportation and utilizes them more efficiently. They wanted to offer their customers, including DAX companies, medium-sized enterprises, cities and hospitals, a solution that would enable employers to financially support the individual and sustainable mobility of their employees in the form of a mobility budget.

Solution: uRyde sought a banking partner that could provide a simple technical solution without a great deal of regulatory burden. The Nuremberg-based company partners with Swan to embed virtual cards within their mobility app. Employers can allocate a certain budget per employee and then issue a virtual card that allows employees to book integrated services such as ridesharing, shuttle buses or public transport, but also almost any other flexible mobility, such as car or bike sharing. Users can therefore find and pay for their transportation within one product experience, boosting the value of uRyde’s app in a meaningful way.

Impact: By introducing a virtual payment card, uRyde has completed their product offering with a mobility budget, empowering users to find, book, and pay for sustainable transportation all within one bundled app. In this way, uRyde can make more efficient use of existing mobility resources, reduce emissions, and create more mobility with less traffic.

How it started for uRyde

uRyde started their journey in March 2020. They spent most of the pandemic heads-down working on developing their product.

Johannes Andree and his founding team initially sought to focus exclusively on ridesharing. They wanted to, above all, tackle the thorny problem of Germans not using the full capacity of their vehicles, especially for commuting.

Their idea: build a platform for businesses to incentivize and organize their employees to make sustainable transportation choices.

Andree expands:

“A holistic mobility app, to better utilize and leverage our existing mobility resources just makes sense. Combining this with a mobility budget as an employee benefit and addressing companies is, in our view, the right way to strengthen sustainable and flexible employee mobility.”

The team went live with their mobility app in 2022, with several key clients, including both DAX companies and public organizations, in the Nuremberg area, where the uRyde team is also based.

uRyde is building a best-in-class B2B2C mobility app

At the core of uRyde’s offering is a ridesharing app that folks with extra capacity in their vehicles can use to find people who need a ride, and vice versa. Users can share and book rides across employers, but always know where each other works, which builds trust.

uRyde offers a holistic function that enables employers to promote employee mobility in a tax-optimized way by providing a monthly credit for booking all mobility services - a "mobility budget". The mobility manager can use a dashboard to flexibly set up budgets for employees, who can access, book and manage it through the uRyde app.

And finally, in partnership with Swan, employers can top up a virtual card with the employees’ allocated transportation allowance that they can use to pay for a rideshare, a bike rental, or any other form of qualified mobility.

Swan x uRyde 🤝

Johannes and his team at uRyde knew what kind of finance feature they wanted to build. But they knew they needed help to do so.

Swan immediately made a solid impression. In initial conversations, the BaaS provider ticked several key boxes.

“When we started speaking with Swan, they listened to us and actively tried to understand our problem, rather than delivering a self-serving monologue. The fast go-live Swan was able to provide really appealed to us. We wanted to move fast, be able to immediately try the product out in the Sandbox, and avoid a time-consuming regulatory process.” - Johannes Andree, Co-Founder and CPO, uRyde

After the ink dried on the contract and implementation began, the uRyde team appreciated the support Swan’s technical account managers could deliver through Slack. Andree elaborates:

Virtual cards are an enabler for uRyde’s holistic mobility solution

For uRyde, launching a virtual card in collaboration with Swan to complete their Budget product  has paid off handsomely so far.

Andree again:

“Our embedded finance project with Swan tackles three key areas of our business: increasing app touch points for improved retention, diversifying revenue streams by adding new business lines, and bundling different services together to deliver the best user experience. And we really see this as just the beginning; we believe Swan will be an enabler for our future growth.”

uRyde officially launched the Swan powered Virtual Debit Card as part of the mobility budget in May 2023, and is already seeing high potential and increasing demand. On average, more than 80% of existing users are using their monthly budget. By adding virtual cards to encourage individual and flexible mobility through employers, uRyde is well on its way to putting together the most comprehensive B2B mobility offering in Germany and beyond.

If you’re looking to add virtual cards to your product to bundle payments together with your core offering, let’s have a chat and see if we can help you bring your vision to life.

Max Cutler
July 21, 2023
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