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The future of payment in public transport

More than 650 billion euros are spent annually on public transport tickets. In most cases, customers still use coins and banknotes or smart cards when paying for their tickets. Smart cards, a form of prepaid cards, are loaded with a credit balance and allow a cashless payment of small amounts of money without user identification.

The cash payment is cumbersome and costs the traveler a lot of time at the ticket machines. Cash payments also incur higher operating costs for transport companies. Therefore, many companies are already working on optimizing their payment processes.

Visa has launched a program, the Transportation Center of Excellence, to help travelers pay. For this purpose, the company works together with airlines, vehicle manufacturers, car rental companies, car park operators and transport companies. In the future, it should be possible to integrate payment directly into vehicles. This would allow, for example, for consumer to pay for their fuel or snacks is paid directly from the car. When looking for a parking space, the system could help find the closest parking space and automatically take care of paying for the parking spot. In public transport or air traffic solutions for contactless payment, as well as virtual reality and biometric technologies, are currently being tested. More information can be found on Visa’s website.