Giving public transport operators the ability to manage multiple open-loop and closed-loop electronic payments
Public transport companies around the world are harnessing the power of digital. This video looks at one of the first successful cEMV implementations in Europe and illustrates the many advantages that digitalization offers operators and passengers alike.
In 2016, the public transport company in Ostrava – the third largest city in the Czech Republic – began introducing a contactless payment option for passengers in more than 600 buses, trolleybuses and trams. One of the many crucial technologies making the new system possible is an independent software platform developed in collaboration with Switchio. It enables businesses in transport, parking and retail to flexibly manage multiple bankcard payments.
Ostrava, a city of nearly 300,000 inhabitants situated in the northeast corner of the Czech Republic, is known for the progressive approach that it has taken to transitioning from heavy industry to modern, innovative sectors with high added value, such as IT, automotive engineering and research and technological development. A striking example of this evolution is the city’s public transport network, which, after London, is only the second such system in the world to allow passengers to pay for their journeys by bankcard directly inside vehicles. The innovative solution means that no more paper tickets or complicated fare charts are needed. Passengers simply hop on board, tap their bankcard on an electronic validator and ride.
Despite some initial resistance from passengers, many of whom had difficulty imagining a world without the traditional paper ticket and punch machines, the new system quickly grew in popularity as its benefits – namely, the remarkable degree of convenience that it offers – became apparent. By 2018, more than 50 per cent of commuters had begun regularly paying for their journeys by bankcard and, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020 – bringing with it a focus on hygiene and the need to restrict physical contact – the public transport company in Ostrava knew that the time had come to go completely digital and forever relegate the paper ticketing system, together with the immense cost and complexity of operating and maintaining it, to the history books.
“More than 70 per cent of our passengers now use their bankcard to pay for tickets, with the remainder of our 100 per cent electronic payment system comprising SMS and the MIFARE and ODIS cards, as well as a prepaid ticket similar to the Oyster card in London,” said Daniel Morys, Chairman of the Board of Ostrava’s public transport company. “Today, passengers on Ostrava’s public transport network use electronic tickets only. The paper ticket has become a collector’s item.”
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More about Switchio
Switchio is a comprehensive payment gateway giving public transport operators the ability to manage multiple open-loop and closed-loop electronic payments and different ticketing modes in one seamless system. The software delivers significant savings to public transport operators while enhancing the passenger experience with an unmatched level of convenience. For more information, visit the Switchio website.