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November 13, 2017

Visa to roll out worldwide contactless travel

Will other countries embrace contactless travelling as well as the UK?

By April Slattery

Visa is hoping to make travelling and commuting seamless and friction-free, with the payments giant rolling out a new program for worldwide contactless travel.

Hoping to replicate the contactless success seen in London with TfL, the Visa Global Transit Solutions program aims to create a more convenient experience for mass transit commuters worldwide via contactless payments at the fare gate or on a bus reader.

The solution will allow large transit systems, such as trams or trains, to include contactless payment readers on board to let passengers quickly pay by tapping with compatible cards.

“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.

“Visa played an important role in partnering with Transport for London (TfL).  We are applying the expertise which has led to more than one billion Visa contactless journeys on TfL to help mass transit operators around the world move away from cash and tickets to contactless payments on buses and trains.”

Another part of the solution brings together experts and specialists in the field to offer consulting services to new cities rolling out the solution. The Visa Global Transit Solutions team is comprised of a central group in London and dedicated regional specialists around the world who will support contactless payments implementations, providing guidance and hands-on assistance.

Contactless travel to be rolled out worldwide

Additionally, the program will also offer the Mass Transit Transaction Model, a back-office framework to manage contactless payments regardless of transit operators’ size or fare structure.  The Visa model enables operators to offer a range of flexible fares, including fixed fares, distance- and time-based fares, and multi-modal fares, as well as features like fare capping, concessions, and delay refunds.

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Contactless payments have benefited commuters across London but also travellers visiting the capital, with Visa offering contactless payments worldwide, bringing an accessible service to anyone from around the world.

“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, Chief Technology Officer at TfL.

“More than 40 percent 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. Without our close partnership, we would not have seen the huge benefits to customers that contactless ticketing has already delivered in London.”



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