Alternative card and payment methods are becoming the norm, and across the world transit systems are having to adapt to this incoming cashless society. This will of course affect transport systems and its consumers in many different ways. To help retailers and transport professionals navigate these changes, Global Head of Transportation and Smart Mobility at Ingenico Enterprise Retail, Venceslas Cartier, is here to share his expert opinion on what we can expect, and how Ingenico terminals are paving the way for a faster, smoother transit experience for everyone.
Payments and transport: An evolution in progress
Once upon a time cash was the norm, but nowadays even London’s beloved Oyster card can feel vintage at times. Payments have evolved rapidly over the last 10 years, with tap and pay being one of the biggest evolutions. Consumers are increasingly after a more seamless experience, and the transport journey is no exception to this rule. Transit systems worldwide are upgrading their infrastructure to accept bankcards as new forms of entry, including digitised versions on smartphones or IOT devices, so customers can simply tap in with their preferred bank card. It’s not just transit systems themselves that are developing with the time either – other transport affiliates such as split-ticketing sites and comparison apps are finding on-the-go payments a must for any success in managing consumer demand.
The benefits of these developments
With the rise of different ticketing apps and a multitude of transport options and businesses to choose from, consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to making the way around town. As they’ve become accustomed to a frictionless way of life, they will choose the options which are easiest and most natural for them. If merchants want to remain competitive, attract customers and keep them loyal, a seamless, positive customer experience is necessary.
No one likes queues, particularly if you’re running late and left sprinting for a train. Offering digitised tickets and accepting contactless payments eliminates the need for travelers to wait in line to buy a closed loop transit card or ticket and massively improves operational efficiencies for the transit operator. It also transforms the often-stressful travel experience by ensuring quick entry to the transit system without needing a specialist transit card, thereby increasing ridership volumes, and reducing the overhead expense of issuing cards.
From bank cards to loyalty cards, electronic wallets are becoming increasingly popular options for today’s consumer. The digitisation of payment methods, travel tickets and rail cards is now essential to appeal to the modern traveler.
Travel operators: The 101 on payments
If you’re looking to implement a new payment system, travel operators should focus first and foremost on function and integration. To keep up with customer demand, the technology should allow consumers to use either a bankcard, smartphone or IOT device or a transit card for entry. To ease logistical issues, it should also be quick and easy to integrate into validators and turnstiles.
Another thing to consider is compliance and interoperability. Is the solution interoperable with all payment and transit schemes? Does it comply with transportation standards and payments protocols? Before you worry, the payments landscape can be a complex one, but only to the ears of a non-expert! A good travel payments partner will be able to guide you through any queries you may have.
Where Ingenico’s technology fits in
Ingenico has collaborated for several years with international integrators and ticketing platform providers, and rolled out its first Open Payment solutions at global level in 2015. Relying on Ingenico retail contactless terminals, transport operators in the early adopting cities were able to deploy the first Open Payment "Fixed Fare" solutions before migrating their platforms to solutions managing variable fares.
Ingenico's terminals have demonstrated their ability to be integrated both in validators onboard vehicles such as busses and trams, and in metro gates. Cities including Kiev, Milan, Bratislava, Świebodzice, Rybnik, Taiwan, Rio, and Rome have all adopted our solutions. And, following the acquisition of a local solution, Ingenico also supplies its payment gateway in Spain for the city of Madrid.
Most recently, Ingenico launched its new Open Payments solution OP2GO, improving the speed and reliability of public transport services, reducing fare collection costs in some cases by over 30%. OP2GO was recently implemented by a large transport authority in North America, and we will soon be announcing a roll out across major European cities too.
The future is MaaS
The end goal for many transport experts is Mobility as a Service (MaaS). The aim of this is to create an easy and frictionless all-encompassing transport system that gets consumers from A to B, fuss free, whether they walk then park then bus.
The integration of different transport services within a single mobility offering is a key issue for consumers, amplified in recent years due to increasing concerns over emissions, congestion, and a need for mobility solutions that are cost-effective and convenient. The concept aims at increasing public transport ridership and reducing traffic on the road, thereby enhancing the quality of life for citizens.
Ingenico and MaaS
As one of the leading global payment experts on the market, Ingenico is looking at the full value chain for each element needed to support such seamless journeys – terminals, gateways, acquiring, customer experience, technology providers, PCI expertise, cost of adoption, security and rules.
In parallel with the deployment of our new open payment solution, OP2GO, which will reinforce existing infrastructure with the potential to combine contactless transit and payment card acceptance, we are now exploring projects that will demonstrate ingenuity thanks to our payment omnichannel approach. The first MaaS pilots deployed in Europe, including Whim in Helsinki, Birmingham, Vienna and Antwerp, all outline what may be possible for the future of transportation and smart mobility - but we should note that MaaS is still only in its infancy. As a new player, Ingenico is investigating the market, and developing technical and sales cooperation with transport solution providers, banks and payment schemes.
This article was originally published on blog.ingenico.com. Since October 28, 2020, Ingenico has joined Worldline.