Voice of the Industry

The transition of contactless to contact free - with O-CITY

Monday 18 October 2021 08:39 CET | Editor: Alin Popa | Voice of the industry

As smart cities are starting to become a reality, faster and more reliable payment methods are needed for the sustainability of transport; Tokhir Abdukadyrov from O-CITY discusses this in detail

The world is now moving towards a more hassle-free stretch, as we slowly move away from the complexities caused by the global pandemic. The process of commuting from A to B in buses, metros, and taxis will never feel the same, all thanks to the need of being away from human contact as much as possible. Even though contactless payments have taken over, according to the Global Mass Transit report 2020, still more than 30% of passengers use traditional fare media and a significant part of those prefer to pay for the ticket just before the journey. It can be one-way or two-way tickets, payment by cash or even a small amount of top-ups.

Smart city initiatives have been put in place in order to solve a lot of challenges by adopting new technologies and business models. The aim is to create a movement that creates an ecosystem that is citizen-centered, improving the quality of life and economy through digital transformation. Nowadays, not only are users more interested in the various payment options available, they also want to go for options that ensure ease. This is the major reason behind open-loop systems being implemented by major smart cities all around the world. Apart from providing choices, account based systems are providing a more personalised experience on a customer journey; all thanks to data analytics. It helps a transport operator provider’s commuters with the best of everything: most traveled destination, prices, discounts, loyalty points, and most used payment methods. The trend of contactless has been deployed by all major economies in the world – Beijin, Barcelona, Abu-Dhabi, and Medellin are some examples.

5G, a wireless technology rolled out in 2019, is expected to have 1.9 billion subscriptions by 2024, according to a report by Statista. The prevalence of 5G means a passenger and a transport operator can have convenient and swift transactions in lesser time. While speaking about convenience, speed plays an important role for a consumer that always needs a plan B available.  

Tap to Pay, with its convenience has gained a lot of traction lately. Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), has pledged to modernise digital payment in Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) such as buses and jeepneys (minibus). This initiative, which will take place in partnership with the Department of Transportation, will accelerate the process of adopting automated fare collection in the country, providing a digitised experience for travelers in Metro Manila. Travelers can tap whichever mode of payment they prefer: smartphones, smartwatches, or QR codes. 

Mobility, with a touch of convenience has been an essential combination for governments and public transportation companies. An ecosystem has been created between issuing banks, merchants and public transport companies, that is expanding the concept of digitisation in transportation. Amongst all benefits, contactless payments, with their technology associated, provide users with transparency of transactions, which then builds a sense of security and safety. 

Tokenisation is also proving to be a great way of giving commuters a seamless travel experience, without disclosing their personal information. Banks and other financial institutions can be seen as the center of this ecosystem as they can leverage opening new doors of payments to their existing clients. Not only does this expand revenue models for them, but also acts as a platform that brings people together. As the importance of open-loop technology gets more predominant, more technologies will emerge as public transport is the heart of any growing infrastructure, in any part of the world. The partnership between banks, fintechs, public service providers and tech organisations will only grow stronger as we move forward, and engaging in the creation of a unified intermodal ecosystem environment in the cities will be the key to success for many.

About Tokhir Abdukadyrov

Tokhir Abdulkadyrov, Senior Vice President, and Head of Digital Social and Infrastructure Solutions at O-CITY, is a digital Payment professional with 20 years’ experience in Payment, Banking and Transportation projects globally. Head of O-CITY, universal, open-loop AFC solution provider, which specializes on Mass Transit, smart city, payment automation for transport and public services projects. My expertise lies in increasing business efficiency by implementing technology driven solutions, and automating large scale digital payments in Mass Transit, Smart Cities, social, banking and finance areas. 

About O-CITY

Adopted by more than 130 cities worldwide, O-CITY is an innovative automated fare collection solution designed by BPC, a leading banking and payment firm with in excess of 350 clients across more than 95 countries. O-CITY was born from the vision of digitalising micro-payments as a key driver of a cashless economy while improving the well-being of citizens. With O-CITY, government, public transport operators and merchants can deliver a frictionless payment experience at every touch point leveraging smart, digital and open technologies. (tollgate, bus, train, subway, parking facility, bike rental or city tourist attraction). Citizens can move freely and make quick payments using their mobile or existing bank card, removing the need for cash or queuing at a ticket counter.

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Keywords: contactless payments, pandemic, cashless, digitalisation
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce

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