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Visa Uses TfL Experience To Help Other Cities With Contactless Transport Payments

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Visa Global Transit Solutions offers guidance, frameworks and standards for transport operators around the world to implement contactless

Visa is setting up a new business unit to help public transport operators and technology providers implement contactless payment systems. 

‘Visa Global Transit Solutions’ comprises consulting services, frameworks, tools and standards, and an innovation centre in London that will investigate new technologies to help customers. 

Many major cities, such as London and Sydney, have contactless systems that cover rail, light rail, tram and bus services that speed up payments, offer dynamic fare models, and are more efficient to run. 

Tube TfL contactless Barclaycard (1)

Contactless payments 

However Visa wants to accelerate the use of contactless debit, credit and prepaid cards such as Oyster in cities and among transport companies of all sizes. 

A team of experts will provide guidance and assistance, while Visa will be able to provide blueprints for fixed and distance-based fares, multi-modal travel, capping, concessions and delay repay. Technology providers will receive certifications to give transport operators assurances. 

“We want to make the transportation experience faster, easier and more secure whether someone is traveling by car, flying on holiday or taking public transportation to work,” said Michael Lemberger, head of products at Visa in Europe. 

Indeed, Transport for London (TfL) is seen as the model to follow, with Visa using its experience of working with the authority to aid other cities. More than one billion journeys on London’s tubes, trains and buses have been paid for using contactless and two million journeys are made using this method each day. 

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“We work hard to make public transport in London easy for everyone and developing contactless ticketing has been a huge part of this,” said Shashi Verma, TfL CTO. “More than 40 per cent of pay as you go journeys are now made using contactless cards or mobile devices and we have already seen cards from more than 100 countries around the world using our system.  

“To get to this point, a lot of things needed to change about how the payment industry worked, including the creation of new payment rules that were mandated worldwide. By working together in partnership, we would not have seen the huge benefits to customers that contactless ticketing has already delivered in London.” 

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