As consumers, we live in a world where almost everything and anything is accessible, available on demand, and most significantly, convenient, designed to make our lives easier in one way or another.
Over 10 years ago, Sampo Hietanen of MaaS Global started thinking about the common complications of travel at the time, and whilst other industries were seeing major changes and disruption for the good, the travel industry remained somewhat unchallenged. With this in mind, the idea for the world’s first mobility as a service solution was born in the form of Whim, a revolutionary transport service based in Helsinki.
So what is Whim and how does it work?
Whim is a concept whereby every mode of transport that exists today, whether that’s a taxi, bus, tram, rental car or city bike, is aggregated into a single, simple to use service. Not only does Whim provide information on various transport options around you, but tickets and payments are also managed within the app on either a pay as you go or monthly subscriptions. As a user, you simply download the app, register your details, enter your destination, and Whim will offer the best transportation alternatives to get you from A to B.
Not only has this service played a part in disrupting traditional travel, but also in changing people’s behaviour, and responding to significant problems such as city congestion and pollution.
Did you know the average car remains unused for about 95% of the time, and in addition to mounting costs in tax, insurance, petrol and vehicle maintenance, within the current climate it seems like a really outdated way of getting around, especially in major cities. Whim encourages people to think differently and become aware of the alternatives to using their own car in terms of everyday commuting which has really effected the way people travel. They have seen huge behavioural shifts in customers’ subscribed to the unlimited package, significant increase rise in trips on public transportation, even though they have access to taxis and rental cars, and many having sold their cars to become solely Whim customers.
In terms of tourists who may not speak English, the opportunity to experience destinations as a local would. Using Whim, you can find out where to go and how to get there with a seamless, simple to use service translated in your own language. For Chinese travellers, this information is translated into Chinese together with WeChat. For Chinese this information is provided together with Whim, Helsinki Marketing, Tencent within WeChat. These Tourists have a vibrant and dynamic travel guide in their own language, right in their pocket!
How many times have you arrived somewhere you’ve never visited before, and found yourself standing at the exit of the train station or airport wondering how get to your next destination in the safest and cheapest way? Whim has answered your prayers!
Whim offers the three options for the people living in a particular city. In Finland Whim offers three traveling options: pay as you go and two monthly packages; Whim Urban and Whim Unlimited. As a business traveler or a tourist pay as you go is the best choice to easily get around the city. However, key part of the MaaS concept is roaming - the ability to travel in any country, and any city, and beyond, using the best available services, all from the one simple user interface Whim.
Thus, MaaS Global is actively looking into tourism and business travel segments, and their needs as well. If you picture the familiar situation, where you land in a new city, you are in a rush, jetlagged, you would likely love a service that just gets you there. Whim would be ideally positioned to help you find the best route from the airport to the hotel - but also beyond. Whether you continue on to a business meeting, event venue, or a tourist attraction, Whim will continue to help you all the way through your journey.
Tencent and Whim to join forces to be part of the transport revolution
MaaS Global has announced their first partnership in this area, together with Tencent. Tencent wants to offer its WeChat platform customers the best possible travel experience. They chose Helsinki as the first city to do a travel app within WeChat. Created together with Helsinki Marketing (City of Helsinki’s official international marketing company), the MyHelsinki mini program offers Chinese visitors the best the city can offer, in a curated, constantly updated format, all in Chinese. Whim's services will also be integrated into the mini program, allowing the tourists to get where they need to be going, from restaurants or events to shopping, all within the WeChat mini program.
If you want to read more about Whim’s strategy and future goals, read the full case study on our Launchpad, or better yet, join us at DTTT Global together with Kaj Pyyhtiä, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Experience Officer at MaaS Global, as he shares his experience of turning passions into a viable and valuable service.
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