In more and more cities and regions worldwide, passengers can easily use public transport with their contactless credit card or mobile wallet, without the hassle of finding tickets, or prior registration. This method is called open-loop mass transit or short: open payment.
The number of transport companies that supplement conventional ticketing services with open payment is growing rapidly. With the additional service, they meet new expectations of their customers and increase customer experience. It helps them grow ridership and secure their revenues.
As more and more transport providers offer this new option, open payment is becoming a new standard in public transport – a standard that allows passengers to use and pay for public transport services all over the world using the same method. Seamlessly across fare zones, countries, and transport modes; simple and always the same. Whether on a bus in Bonn, Germany, on the metro in Toronto or on a train in the Netherlands – passengers just tap their credit card and ride. They are automatically billed according to their usage and there is no need to search for tickets before starting the journey.
“Together with our customers and partners, and many other stakeholders, we are currently turning the vision of a seamless travel experience across the world into reality.” Manfred Troll
While each transport company is focused on providing the best service for their customers, they are – without actual intention – contributing to the creation of a global travel experience. By utilizing open payment, different transport providers contribute independently from each other to unify the usage of public transport across the world; turning the vision into a reality.
Is open payment THE solution of the future?
Open payment is ONE solution to make public transport easier and to offer passengers a convenient service. But every passenger has different requirements, needs and preferences and a single offer will never be equally suitable for all passengers. And it does not have to be. The great advantage of modern fare management systems is that they integrate many different services. Transport companies do not have to decide whether to sell tickets at ticket vending machines, offer mobile ticketing via app or issue their own smart card. All conventional and latest ticketing and payment services can be integrated into one central system so that every passenger picks the services they personally prefer.
What is open payment?
Open payment is one of the easiest ways to use public transport: Passengers tap their contactless credit or debit card or mobile wallet when they board and exit. No ticket selection, no registration, no app necessary. The system automatically calculates the price for all trips and journeys. It ensures that the lowest possible price is applied, according to the tariff rules, and that the payment process is performed automatically after the trip, without any trouble.
In an open payment system, the fare management system accepts and processes transactions made by contactless credit or debit cards or mobile wallets, which are based on international standards and universal technology. This method is also called open-loop. Closed-loop systems are limited to a specific provider and usually apply specific standards and proprietary technology. Modern fare management systems can combine closed-loop and open-loop options.
Manfred Troll leads the Global Sales Account-based Ticketing at Scheidt & Bachmann Fare Collection Systems GmbH, focusing on the concept and functional design of Scheidt & Bachmann’s account-based ticketing solutions.
Learn more about Scheidt & Bachmann's open payment and account-based ticketing solutions and our open payment projects.
As an active member of UITP's Urban Mobility Open Payment Forum, we aim to advance adoption of open loop payment systems in public transport across the globe.
Continue the discussion on how to implement an open payment system and meet us at the following events: