UrbanThings predicts contactless to replace cash
Transport payments and ticketing technology specialist, UrbanThings, expects contactless payments for bus and coach fares to ultimately replace cash.
Carl Partridge, UrbanThings CEO, said: “Contactless bank cards have fuelled a revolution in bringing a universal and quick payment method to the pockets of everyone. We can expect this to continue and ultimately replace cash and smart card payments. We’re likely to see closer integration between contactless and mobile; allowing greater advantages to be gained from account based ticketing. For example, being able register your contactless card in an UrbanThings m-Ticketing app to benefit from loyalty discounts, capping or new pricing models.
“As Tap In/Tap Out technology is more widely deployed, this will be accompanied by new and innovative fare models and loyalty schemes that take advantage of the technology” – Carl Partridge, UrbanThings
“I believe we will also see a growth in ‘Tap In / Tap Out’ ticketing and pricing, particularly on bus. This is a vital way to ensure that rural bus fares can be reasonably and fairly priced, taking into account the distances travelled and avoiding the complexity and delays posed by traditional single-fare ‘triangles’ (tables). As Tap In/Tap Out technology is more widely deployed, this will be accompanied by new and innovative fare models and loyalty schemes that take advantage of the technology; for example distance-based pricing and ‘green points’ to reward sustainable transport. UrbanThings sits at the heart of this transport tech revolution, integrating smart cards, contactless bank payments and mobile into a single universal software platform: UrbanHub.”
UrbanThings aims to sit at the heart of what it describes as the transport technology revolution to improve fare payments, integrating smart cards, contactless bank payments and mobile into its UrbanHub.
Flora Tran, UrbanThings Marketing Manager, said: “Recently, we have enhanced our passenger apps to provide better vehicle tracking, journey planning and fare information. For example, informing passengers when they have reached their capping limit will help them make more sustainable decisions on their choices of travel. Passengers could decide to take public transport home instead of a taxi, as they would be fully aware the journey would be free.
“In addition, our apps now support coupons so transport operators can roll out instant discounts to passengers to increase footfall via targeted incentives. Finally, the new version of the Bus Checker app, which has been released just recently, also provides real-time vehicle tracking and fare information, collecting data from operators under the BODS requirements. Real time information is essential to provide passengers with a pleasant experience and encourage them to use shared transportation.”
Currently, UrbanThings is working in partnership with Littlepay to bring mobile and contactless payments closer together. The spokesperson said: “MaaS is all about embracing the way that passengers want to plan, travel and pay, and open loop payments are a big part of this. Any successful regional scheme will need to ensure that passengers can pay in the way that’s most convenient for them, and that these payments can be tied back to an account-based travel platform so that everyone can take advantage. Passengers can start to see the benefits such as loyalty discounts, journey and fare history.
“We are also customising travel assistance to help passengers plan the best route and pay the best fare.”
- For more news on innovations in the bus and coach ticketing and fare collection world, check out our feature on contactless ticketing in the latest issue of Bus and Coach Buyer (issue 1644, 27 January 2023) here on our website.