How technology is transforming urban transit

From self-service ticket machines to open payment, Ingenico has long been at the cutting edge of transport payment solutions, and the evolution continues.

The continued growth of cities worldwide brings fresh challenges, from spiralling urban populations to increased levels of congestion and pollution. As our cities swell, the role of public and mass transport in managing the movement of these people quickly comes into sharp focus. In our choked cities, the car is no longer king and planners are instead focusing on how to make mass urban transit simple, seamless and appealing to all.

Tech is playing a critical role in that transformation, accelerated by the rise of smart cities and supported by intelligent solutions from Ingenico. Integrated transport systems are now a core element of urban planning, and authorities worldwide are upgrading their infrastructure to accept a full suite of payment methods to reduce friction for users.

With long-standing experience in the transport sector, Ingenico is combining its payment expertise with ticketing know-how to offer market-leading solutions. Here’s how.

For how long has Ingenico been offering transportation payment solutions?

Transportation is a global market for Ingenico, and we’ve been active in the field for a long time. The transport market is developing fast as mass transit evolves to accommodate an increasingly urbanized world population. 

We have designed, developed and launched dedicated hardware to specifically address the transport segment.

One of our first solutions was a queue-busting ticket vending machine (TVM). These self-service machines provided a PIN pad and reader device to allow travellers to buy their paper-based tickets from the machine. Our solutions have been adopted throughout the world and our cutting-edge tech means that we lead the field: around 30% of the worldwide market is equipped with Ingenico solutions.

We aim to enable passengers to have a fully integrated, seamless transport experience – maybe starting out by taking a bus, then a metro and end the journey on a bike – all without batting an eyelid. 

We’ve now moved to offer e-payments and initiated our first open payment solution combining our classic retail payment terminals with our dedicated payment gateway to manage the transaction between the ticketing platform and the bank. 

Where have they been rolled out?

Initially our first open payment solutions were rolled out on metro systems and bus networks in cities such as Kiev, Bratislava and Milan. Our initial goal was to provide cashless payment acceptance to existing gates or turnstiles and to offer occasional customers easy access to the whole transport network by adding payment terminals that accept only payment cards and smartphones/IoT. This approach was a good first step to validate our concept and to test market uptake.

Now, the transportation market needs to move to the next step, allowing the convergence of ticketing and payment for a seamless journey. Ingenico’s expertise and scale mean we are perfectly positioned to become one of the key players at the forefront of this nascent market, providing dedicated hardware and payment solutions matching market demands for security, speed and flexibility. 

Venceslas Cartier / Global Head of Transportation / Ingenico Retail Enterprise

Venceslas is Global Head of Transportation for Ingenico Retail Enterprise. He is in charge of managing global offers for the Transportation vertical: Open Payment/Mass Transit & Electric-Vehicle Charging.

His goal is to build and develop comprehensive value-creating offers to address new needs for innovative payment solutions in the Transportation industry and accompany medium and large merchants and integrators in Mass Transit & EV Charging.

Venceslas has over 19 years of expertise in strategic & field marketing, communication, business development, partnership & indirect sales in IT and Retail markets.

Before joining Ingenico in 2016, Venceslas headed the EMEA & India Marketing and Business Development Department of A2iA, a software editor specialized in document & mobile capture, recognition & authentication.

What are the benefits of open payment solutions?

The first benefit is definitely the cost reduction for both transport authorities and travellers. Open payments can be up to three times cheaper than paper ticketing!

Open payment also reduces the cost of rides for occasional users and skips the sales process at ticket vending machines or at the counter. All these benefits increase customer satisfaction.

The cost benefits for authorities sit alongside the wider advantages to society. Ingenico’s solutions contribute to the smart city approach, encouraging the use of public transport over private cars. That brings environmental benefits, such as reduced pollution, and helps tackle traffic problems in cities.

How did the move into open payments come about?

The challenge for transport providers is that closed-loop cards such as Oyster are often in operation alongside open-loop alternatives: bank cards and smartphone wallets. Each requires a different processing protocol, so open payment refers to a system that can handle all payment methods in one place. It was natural that Ingenico should develop its existing offer to become one of the key players in this new market.

For example, we’ve worked with Kiev and Milan metro systems and Italy’s Trenord railways for some time providing TVM solutions. A year and a half ago they implemented one of our retail open payment solutions, adapted for transport usage. It was not a perfect solution, but a step in the right direction.

The principal issue was that retail solutions are only able to process bank card or smartphone payments, not closed-loop cards. That meant the design and integration were not ideal as metro gates had to have two devices, one for occasional users tapping their bank card or phone, and another for closed-loop cards.

We’ve since invested a lot in R&D to develop a bespoke open payment system that combines the best of the two worlds of payment and ticketing.

OP2G0, our latest evolution that will be announced at the end of January 2019 will provide dedicated hardware and a payment gateway solution that can be connected to the ticketing platforms of our integrator partners, so we can concentrate on what we do best. By each focusing on our core technologies and expertise, we can provide the market with the right solution.