Contactless Payment Technology: Ensuring a Fair Deal in Public Transport Environments

This article describes why supporting contactless payment systems is in the best of interests of customers, transit operators and authorities, and the global payments industry. In the past, proprietary fare collection systems were successful but arguably required transport agencies to shoulder disproportionately the associated risks and costs. However, it is now crucial that the global payments community seek to redefine its relationship with the public transit community and clearly articulate what it has to offer. Contactless payment forms the hub of the global payments industry contribution to public transportation. The consumer benefits include faster, safer and more convenient payment. The appeal to public transportation networks is multi-faceted. Offloading the burden of fare collection, handling and processing to the global payments infrastructure allows transport operators to focus on their core purpose of moving people from place to place. The removal of cash from the system reduces the risk of crime and the durability of contactless card readers could reduce maintenance costs. The move towards a cashless society, fueled by the mass adoption of contactless payment systems, is a fundamental objective of the global payment industry. The integral role of public transport in everyday life makes transit industry engagement crucial to achieving this. An opportunity exists for transportation practitioners to play a pioneering and influential role in advocating the wider adoption of contactless payment solutions. This hopefully will be followed in turn by financial benefits in terms of savings as usage spreads. Challenges remain, and it is incumbent upon the global payments industry to support public transport networks in ensuring sufficient harmonization of technologies, ensuring that those currently outside the banking system are granted access to contactless cards, and overcoming persistent fears related to security. A successful approach to contactless payments must be underpinned by an operating model which spreads the risks, costs, and benefits associated with using new payments technologies among all key stakeholders.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01147961
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 1 2009 3:25PM