Has the pandemic moved us closer to electronic payments?

Posted: 27 July 2021 | | No comments yet

Switchio outlines the benefits of electronic payments, and asks whether the pandemic has brought us closer to going fully contactless in the transport industry.

Main Image Contactless

Can contactless EMV payments help to stop the spread of coronavirus?

From bannisters to banknotes, many objects help to spread coronavirus. Since COVID is very infectious and can persist on objects longer than we think, there is a need for disinfection and other safety measures in public places. This presents great challenges to transit agencies and operators: there are touchscreens, keypads, vending machines and POS terminals to disinfect, not to mention the measures to be taken to protect drivers from the cash we hand over.

Social distancing measures have led to a preference for contactless payments, making cash payments less desirable. Contactless payments are fast becoming mainstream – according to this report, almost 50 per cent of shoppers worldwide are using contactless payments more than they were before the pandemic. The trend is here to stay, as many plan to use digital payments even after the pandemic.

Contactless payments are also on the rise in public transport in the form of contactless ticketing, which promotes public health and yields many other benefits.

How does contactless ticketing work?

Passengers tap their contactless EMV bank cards, smartphones or wearable devices on validators found in stations or on transport vehicles and the system calculates the most advantageous fare based on level of usage. There is no need for a paper ticket and no confusion over how to pay for transport for out-of-town visitors.

What are the benefits of electronic payments for public transport providers and customers?

Contactless bank cards and virtual cards on smartphones and smartwatches help transit providers improve customer experience and safety, lower their carbon footprint, and save money in the process.

  • Drivers don’t need to accept cash payments
  • Contactless EMV payments provide quick transit with no queues – passengers can check-in in under 0.5 seconds
  • Sensitive data is processed under high-security standards thanks to a PCI DSS certified payment gateway, which includes tokenisation of personal data, ensuring anonymity for customers and their sensitive bank card details
  • The elimination of printed tickets and vending machines makes the transport system greener
  •  Electronic payment solutions support multi-acquiring, giving transport operators the power of choice
  • A payment switch optimises payment transfers between transport providers and acquirers or payment processors, reducing transaction fees.
  • Digitalisation yields operating cost savings of up to 85 per cent

At Switchio, we want to improve passenger experience, reduce operating costs for transport providers, and make public transport greener. We do that by offering the benefits outlined above in cities like Prague and Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Tychy in Poland and Lagos in Nigeria. To learn more about the Switchio transport solution, visit