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FlixBus: The road to global expansion

From Munich to Manhattan, in 6 years; FlixBus has expanded across countries and continents. Find out how they’ve done it.

21 October, 2019
 ·  3 minutes
FlixBus: The road to global expansion

Since its inception in 2013, FlixBus has changed the way millions of people travel. As a unique combination of tech start-up, ecommerce platform, and modern transportation company, they’ve quickly become Europe’s largest intercity bus network. As of 2019, they’ve helped over 100 million people reach their destination, and since 2016 we at Adyen have helped shape their payments journey.

We traveled to Munich to meet their CIO, Daniel Krauss, and Head of Payments, Dennis Friemerding to talk technology, transportation, and global expansion.

“When FlixBus thinks about data, we think about how it can make the experience for our customers better.”

Daniel KraussCo-founder, and CIO, FlixBus

Mobility and data

Today, data and technology are so important to companies within the mobility sector and FlixBus is no different. Often referred to as a tech startup rather than a transportation service, 25% of the company’s employees work in development and over 30% in data. These teams allow FlixBus to connect millions of data points to enhance the customer experience. They think about where bookings come from to incorporate more stops, more destinations, as well as the kinds of tickets they offer and prices their customers are willing to pay.

“The data gathered in payments is very valuable for us, and how Adyen structures this data is super helpful.”

Dennis FriemerdingTeam Lead Payments, FlixBus

Global expansion through local payment methods

The FlixBus approach to payments involves making the most out of our technology and reach. Passengers can pay in advance online, via the app and the driver with a variety of global and local payment methods. If they are in Sweden, they can pay with Swish, if they’re in France, they can use Cartes Bancaires and the list goes on. Dennis says:

“Enabling these methods is crucial to getting more of FlixBus’s targeted customers onboard, and to increase our online revenue share. If we give Poland as an example, DotPay implementation took only one month and gathered a share of 42% in 3 months.”

“Now we’re aiming to have at least one alternative payment method per market, as payments are one of the key factors of customer experience during the booking process. Adyen provides a wide range of local payment methods in all the markets where FlixBus is present, offering different levels of integration that allow us to start processing fast and adjust more to the local needs when the market is established.”

It doesn’t just stop there though. The agility and flexibility of our partnership has helped FlixBus expand into the US, where their goal was to increase authorisation rates and reduce the number of rejected transactions.

"Adyen helped us with local acquiring in the US, which had a positive effect not only on our top line but also on the bottom line. Through local acquiring, we were able to reduce our bank declines by 21%."

Dennis FriemerdingTeam Lead Payments, FlixBus

The future of mobility

Mobility as a service is a hot topic, and the Flix group finds itself at the intersection of traditional forms of travel, plus new green transportation networks. More value is being placed on sustainable and climate-friendly travel alternatives while keeping comfort front and center. The FlixBus fleet already owns several electric buses and last year launched the first FlixTrain on the rails. They even supported the recent climate strike by offering free travel for protesters, so they could leave their cars at home.

Daniel adds: “When I think about the future of transportation, I think of an even higher level of convenience. We try to increase the efficiency of how payments work, and we also try to increase how the product is being experienced.”

And about our partnership Dennis concludes:

“I believe that FlixBus and Adyen share a mindset. They always aim big, the sky is the limit and they always want to make things happen together.”

If you want to learn more about how we help mobility companies, how to expand your business globally with payments, or the network of payment methods available.Get in touch.

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