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Visa launches Global Transit Solutions as it marks 1 billionth contactless journey on TfL system

By Nick Mackie, Head of Chip and Contactless for Europe • Visa

November 10, 2017

In partnership with Transport for London (TfL), Visa contactless payments have transformed the way people pay their transit fares. Since launching on the TfL network, Visa has enabled our customers to make 1 billion secure and convenient contactless payments on buses, tubes, boats and trains. That’s 1 billion customer experiences we have made better, a billion tickets that TfL has not had to issue and a billion transactions of learning that we are capturing in our forward looking programme. This has set the stage for other major cities to follow suit, notably last week’s announcement by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), that they plan to create the London experience on America’s busiest mass transit system.

Visa is in a unique position to use its wealth of knowledge and experience in the transit space to facilitate the worldwide expansion of contactless mass transit. Visa has created the Global Transit Solutions program, with the mission of helping mass transit operators and technology providers of any size add contactless as a friction-free option of paying fares.

The global program consists of:

Consulting: 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. Together, the team has more than 50 years of experience working directly with, and for, mass transit operators and related industries.

Frameworks: Visa has created 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.

Tools and Standards: An important part of Visa Global Transit Solutions is the expansion of the Visa Ready program to include payment technologies available to mass transit operators. Visa Ready for Transit enables technology companies to become Visa certified, giving mass transit operators the peace of mind that the technology solution that they choose meets Visa’s high standards for security.

Visa Ready for Transit

These programs were launched in London, at the recent Transforming Transit event, where 60 public transit operators, tech providers and industry experts were able to learn more about how Visa can partner with them to unlock, faster than ever, the benefits that contactless payments bring. With the great feedback received, the event will be going global, visiting Dubai, New York and Singapore.

It is not just passengers who will benefit from contactless payment. Visa’s recent Cashless Cities report notes that digital payments have the potential to significantly decrease costs associated with transit and toll systems maintained by municipal governments. The study found that transit agencies spend an average of 14.5 cents of every physical dollar collected, compared to only 4.2 cents for every digital dollar.

Whether people are travelling to work, study or meet friends, they now expect their transit fare payment to be as simple, convenient and secure as paying for their coffee.

By improving the passenger transit experience, and helping mass transit operators reduce their costs, contactless payments deliver a better experience to everyone, everywhere.

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