Building Smarter Transit Systems, One Mobile Ticket at a Time

By Hany Fam

Hany Fam is President of MasterCard Enterprise Partnerships, a division of MasterCard responsible for the development of enterprise solutions for large eco-systems such as telecommunications, urban transit, corporate travel, retail and B2B payments.

For the first time in the world’s history, more of us are living in cities than outside. By 2050, this number is set to increase to nearly 70 percent. Already today, urban infrastructure and transit systems are under pressure, with crowding and congestion impacting resident, visitors and businesses on a daily basis.

Clearly, cities are struggling under the weight of their own success – whether in developed markets where people are choosing to move back into cities rather than putting down roots in suburbs, or in emerging markets where workers are moving from the countryside to new urban centres.

At MasterCard, we have been collaborating with some of the biggest cities – such as London – and with some of the leading technology companies in the world to find smart ways to address these challenges. Our global partnership with Masabi – the leading developer of Mobile Ticketing solutions for transit systems – is the latest step in this journey.

The first city to benefit from this partnership will be Athens, whose current cash-only system transports 1 million people each day. Converting to a digital, smart-phone based system will bring commuters shorter ticketing times, more efficient transactions and speedier access to all forms of transport.

Still more important will be the long-term rewards that the transport authority and the city as a whole will reap. With reduced costs for handling cash, greater proportional investment can be redirected towards transport infrastructure and services for commuters in years to come.

Masabi is already at the heart of some of the leading transit systems in the US and UK. Together with MasterCard solutions such as MasterPass – our secure digital payment service – we are confident that we can bring smarter, better connected transit systems to cities and citizens all over the globe.

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