The ability to pay with a tap or swipe from a smartphone or mobile app is having a big impact on public transit around the world.
From the tube in London to commuter-rail networks in the U.S. to the subway in Singapore and buses in Rwanda – mobile apps, mobile transit cards and NFC-enabled mobile payment technologies are making it a snap for passengers to pay as they go without fishing around in their wallets, packs and purses for coins, notes or bills.
Here’s a quick look at what’s happening around the world:
- Since 2013, when contactless payments rolled out on the London public transit system (tube, bus, rail), the number of pay-as-you-go mobile transactions has risen 532%, according to PaymentEye.com. And it’s just the beginning. UK’s Telegraph describes plans for cash-less/coin-less UK buses by 2022
- At least 13 mobile-transit payment services were operational or scheduled to launch in 2016 throughout the U.S., including solutions and apps that support ticketing, payment, trip planners, maps, schedules and more. They’ll be available in San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, Minneapolis, New York City and elsewhere.
- According to TechInAsia, new NFC-enabled transit cards will be available for use (Android phones only, in early stages) on Singapore’s buses and subway system
- Odisha Road Transport Corporation in India is supporting mobile-phone bus tickets as well.
- Buses in Rwanda, according to the BBC, are using smart-card machines for tickets – among the first bus systems in Africa to go cashless.
- Alipay in China is using QR codes for quick payments of goods, services, utilities and air/rail tickets, according to CNET.
- According to Juniper Research, about 23 billion transport and event tickets worldwide will be purchased from mobile phones by 2020.
Look for more innovation in coming months and years. Easy-to implement solutions, including CellPoint Mobile’s TravelBank mWallet™ and Real-Time Transaction Monitoring, can speed the process – and passengers – along their journey toward mobile payments.