Flowbird - Let's Talk About Transport

How do open-loop transit payments make mobility systems more sustainable and inclusive?

September 27, 2023 Flowbird Urban Intelligence Season 1 Episode 5
Flowbird - Let's Talk About Transport
How do open-loop transit payments make mobility systems more sustainable and inclusive?
Show Notes

Chapter options:

  • Chapter One -  how contactless open-loop transit payments transform the passenger experience 
  • Chapter Two -  the inside story on the incredible success of contactless open loop payments in Edinburgh
  • Chapter Three - how open loop payments can be an enabler for Mobility as a Service

Cities around the world are driven by a need to make urban mobility ecosystems sustainable and inclusive. 

In our latest ‘Let’s Talk About Transport’ podcast, Thea Fisher, VISA’s Senior Director in Global Urban Mobility, reflects on a recent survey, which highlights how contactless open-loop transit payments contribute to driving modal shift from private to public transport, reducing carbon emissions and enabling financial inclusion. 

Visa’s survey of 75 transit agencies and 3,000 passengers showed the ease of tap-to-pay with EMV cards and devices is a key factor in motivating public transport use.
“Our research found that 80 percent of transit agencies saw increased ridership,” says Thea. “Among those who adopted open-loop payments less than two years ago, there was an average increase of six percent, while agencies with more experience saw an average increase of 10 percent.” 

The popularity of EMV transit payments is demonstrated by  Lothian Buses, which experienced one of the fastest adoption rates of open loop payments ever in 2019. Four years later, one in two journeys using Lothian Buses start with an EMV ‘tap’ and the Edinburgh bus company recently recorded over 100,000 taps in a single day by passengers using its account-based ticketing system, developed by Flowbird.

Podcast soundbites:
Contactless EMV convenience can’t be beaten

 "It’s much easier to get on a bus or subway system when you’ve got the payment method in your pocket. You’re not going to have to figure out what product you need to purchase just to get where you’re going."

Open loop payment innovation is just the start 

"Once you’ve enabled contactless payments, there’s a lot you can do beyond that… loyalty schemes, redirecting passenger flows, issuing EMV cards that enable the underbanked to be included in transport and financial systems."  

 Complement or replace closed-loop systems 

"The mission for payments is to ensure that no rider is left behind. Open loop acceptance can provide agencies with the ability to issue physical or digital credentials using EMV technology. This can be instead of, or in addition to, closed loop smart card systems." 

 Create seamless multimodal travel experiences 

"Open loop can combine a lot of different modes of transport… If the transit ecosystem can tie this together using a tokenised version of a person’s payment credential, that’s a phenomenal way for riders to engage in Mobility-as-a-Service." 

Flowbird solutions are used in 4,350 cities to make travel easier, safer and faster.

Our complete infrastructure for transport ticketing and payments connects smart ticketing devices to our CloudFare back office, which offers modules for Estate Management, Account Based Ticketing, Fares & Topology and Open Payments. We provide end-to-end payment services, which support transport and mobility operations.

A leading paystation provider, Flowbird continues to develop systems that support cities’ social, environmental and economic goals. Our parking and MaaS apps, Park & Charge solution, and parking management platform, are driving the future of sustainable mobility.