Smart City

Dec 19, 2018

The Monheim pass replaces wallets

With debit and credit cards as well as a whole host of customer cards, our purses and wallets are bulging with more or less intelligent plastic cards. The nearly 45,000 inhabitants of Monheim am Rhein in Germany will soon be able to dispense with a large number of these cards.
In Monheim am Rhein, citizens will use and pay for municipal services with City Pass and App in future.
It will probably look something like this – the new Monheim pass, which all citizens of the city will have in their pockets from next year onward.

Graphic: City of Monheim am Rhein, Germany
​​​​​​​This is because the city’s administration will provide them with the Monheim pass in the new year, with which they will be able to pay for municipal services. A 15€ monthly credit balance is automatically available. The city and T-Systems signed a contract for the setup and operation of the solution in December 2018.  At first, it will be possible to borrow items from the city library using an app and card – including smart payment. Shortly after that, a digital bicycle rental system will be introduced as well. The “City Bikes” will be available as traditional bikes, children’s bicycles, e-bikes and cargo bikes. Also in prospect: entry to the public swimming pool - using the Monheim pass.

Smart City simplifies urban life

“We will gradually integrate additional services. These include making it possible to complete administrative procedures using the Monheim pass,” announces Mayor Daniel Zimmermann, who has been working on turning his city into a smart city step by step for a long time already. “In Monheim am Rhein we already offer a usable public WiFi network and are gradually switching our city’s lighting to smart streetlights.” Monheim am Rhein is thereby fulfilling the wish of many German citizens for more smart service offerings from their municipalities, as is made clear by current studies. The Hamburg-based market research institute Splendid Research has established that three quarters of all city residents make use of smart city offers – where these are available. Their main reasons for this: time savings and the simplification of urban life.

Smart technology: citizen’s account and blockchain

The technical service platform for the Monheim pass and the mobile app as well as the services offered are provided by T-Systems. It orchestrates the interplay of functions and forms the overarching link between all processes, allowing municipalities to decide for themselves which functions they wish to provide to their citizens immediately and which they want to gradually introduce in future. This is thanks to the easy linkup of functions to the platform responsible for all processes using interfaces. Such functions include e-payment options, electronic records management, and specialized procedures in accordance with the German Online Access Act (OZG). The OZG requires the complete digitization of processes by federal, state, and municipal administrations by 2020.
Clear identification and authorization takes place by means of a citizen’s account, which is set up for all users of the Monheim pass. Personal data as well as documents of citizens are stored in the citizen’s account. The city pass is based on blockchain technology. Transaction-related data generated when the pass is used enters the blockchain and cannot be manipulated thanks to two-way encryption. This is also a prerequisite for external providers, such as local shops, being able to process their service offers directly via the city pass in the future as well. Citizens would then be able to pay for things in Monheim’s shops using their Monheim pass and the app. The mobile app’s design is simple: it consists of a personalized and location-based newsfeed, the available citizens’ services, and a type of marketplace through which companies – e.g. local shops – can offer their services. In the shape of the One Smart City app, Deutsche Telekom has developed a client-capable white-label solution that enables citizens to be integrated into the smart city activities of cities and companies.
Thanks to its digitization projects, Monheim am Rhein became a pioneer for smart city services some time ago. There are already tablet-supported lessons in many classes in the city’s schools, city committees are paperless, and the first connected streetlights measure temperature and electricity consumption or report outages and technical problems independently.