In the ever-changing public transport landscape, buying a ticket should never be a barrier to a seamless journey. Ticketing solutions must overcome barriers, especially during peak demand periods, providing convenience for both passengers and operators.

Dynamically bursting onto the ticketing scene, contactless payments offer the exact combination of ease, simplicity, and security needed to improve public transportation systems. This revolutionary concept, dubbed “contactless ticketing,” is based on the use of bank cards with a tap in transportation systems. This blog article is your key to a comprehensive exploration of contactless bank cards and their emulation through Apple Pay and Google Pay on mobile devices, revolutionizing the art of simply pressing a button and riding public transportation.

Who is this article for?
Public transport authorities, urban planners, and technology enthusiasts.
Key takeaways
  • Elevate public transport with seamless, cashless travel using contactless tickets.
  • Agencies benefit from cost reduction, faster boarding, and eco-friendly practices.
  • Transform your transit system with Ficus Technologies – pioneering contactless ticketing.

What is contactless ticketing for public transport?

Step into the future of hassle-free travel with a revolutionary innovation – contactless tickets for public transport. Revolutionizing the way we get around the city, contactless tickets come in a wide range of validation methods, including smart cards, mobile tickets, and EMV. This contactless miracle eliminates the need for passengers to carry cash or touch machines while traveling, ushering in a new era of simplicity.

At the heart of this transformation are advanced fare payment systems that seamlessly support the reloading of selected contactless tickets. In recent years, the industry has witnessed the rise of account-based systems, which are considered the gold standard for public transportation innovation. Passengers looking to simplify their travels are creating centralized accounts linked to a variety of contactless fare media.

  • Smartphones: Enjoy quick access as passengers easily manage their accounts and save fares using dedicated mobile ticketing apps.
  • Smart cards: Start a seamless journey by purchasing customized smart cards, often using NFC technology, that easily connects to your accounts.
  • EMV payments: Everyday debit or credit cards turn into travel cards when passengers connect them to their accounts, eliminating the need for a dedicated smart card.
  • Smart Wearables: Discover the future with NFC-enabled smart devices, from watches to bracelets, that easily link to passenger accounts, offering an added dimension of convenience.

As mobile devices and bank cards become more intertwined with our daily lives, their role extends to the validation process on board public transportation. Contactless tickets are becoming not just a means of transportation but a symbol of efficiency and comfortable, stress-free city travel. Every trip is a testament to the simplicity of contactless tickets.

Technology is changing the way we travel, making the world more accessible and enhancing our overall experience.

Mark Zuckerberg

What are their advantages?

Benefits for the agency

The introduction of contactless tickets for public transportation is ushering in a new era of efficiency and profitability. The benefits for transportation agencies are numerous, ushering in a transformative wave of progress in fare management.

  1. Reduce the cost of fare collection media: Say goodbye to the constant need to print tickets. As passengers increasingly use contactless tickets, the costs associated with traditional fare media, such as smart cards, are decreasing. The proliferation of mobile tickets and EMV payments is accelerating this process, making smart cards a thing of the past.
  1. Reducing the amount of equipment: Enter a world where validators are sleek, compact, and cost-effective. Compared to bulky ticket machines, contactless options are redefining equipment efficiency. Account-based fare collection systems provide access to the technology even for passengers without bank accounts, potentially making the machines obsolete or at least reducing their number on the road to full digitalization.
  1. Reduced personnel costs: A reliable contactless ticketing system helps to optimize operations. Agencies can reduce ticketing staff and reallocate resources to other important areas. Increased efficiency contributes to a more flexible and responsive transit ecosystem.
  1. Reduced waiting time: Say goodbye to the era when drivers dealt with cash or checked tickets manually. Contactless ticketing allows drivers to focus on their primary task of driving safely. This transition not only improves safety but also leads to a significant reduction in the time spent on public transport, contributing to an overall better experience of using public transport.

In essence, the introduction of contactless tickets is not just a technological leap; it is a strategic move that increases operational efficiency, reduces costs, and improves service quality for transport agencies. 

Benefits for riders

Go on a trip with unprecedented convenience and a host of benefits that contactless tickets for public transport provide passengers. These benefits redefine the travel experience by emphasizing speed, simplicity, and environmental responsibility.

  1. Fast boarding: Say goodbye to dreaded queues. With a simple tap or scan of a QR code in the mobile ticketing app, validation takes less than a second, ensuring passengers board quickly and seamlessly.
  1. No need to carry more cards: Choose mobile ticketing or EMV and lighten your wallet. Cyclists can reduce the number of cards they carry by simplifying their commute with one device for multiple purposes.
  1. Accessible Everywhere: With account-based ticketing systems like Modeshift, commuters can access their accounts anytime, anywhere. Unlike media-based systems, where losing a card means losing stored value, account-based systems provide seamless access using an alternative device or card.
  1. More hygienic: in a post-COVID-19 world, minimizing contact with surfaces and cash is paramount. Contactless ticketing is becoming a hygienic solution, reducing the number of touchpoints and improving overall safety when traveling.
  1. Eco-friendly: Apart from convenience, there are environmental aspects to consider when traveling. Contactless tickets promote environmental sustainability by helping transit agencies and cities reduce carbon emissions and waste, making every trip a small step toward a greener future.

With contactless tickets, enjoy the many benefits they offer: efficiency, hygiene, and environmental care come together to make your ride more comfortable.

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How are they used?

Unleash the power of convenience with useful travel software by exploring the myriad of ways to use contactless tickets on public transportation and giving passengers a wide range of options to suit their preferences.

  1. Mobile ticketing: Cyclists are going into the future with mobile ticketing apps. After downloading the app, they upload funds to their digital wallet, activate tickets, and check their balance. QR codes in the app become digital passes that are quickly scanned by validators on public transportation. Inspectors can easily check ticket validity by scanning QR codes with their mobile apps.
  1. Smartcards: An intuitive choice ingrained in our daily lives. In an account-based ecosystem, passengers link their accounts to smart cards. Charged funds become instantly available. To board a vehicle, simply touch the card to a reader for a quick and seamless checkout.
  1. EMV payments: Take advantage of advanced EMV technology with open payments using Europay, Mastercard, and Visa contactless cards. Cyclists link their contactless bank cards to their accounts and pay securely on board. EMV offers a variety of fare payment models, making it easy to implement pay-as-you-go, pre-purchased tickets, fare capping, and more.
  2. Smart wearable devices: In keeping with active lifestyles, NFC-enabled smart wearable devices easily integrate with a passenger’s account through a dedicated mobile app. These wearable devices, be it watches or wristbands, become a stylish and effective means of confirmation, akin to a smart card.

The flexibility of these contactless ticketing methods provides a personalized and efficient travel experience where technology blends seamlessly into everyday life.

Contactless Ticketing: Bespoke Ticketing Systems Vs Fare Payments-as-a-Service

As cities, agencies, and operators embark on contactless ticketing systems for public transport, a critical decision arises – individual ticketing systems or fare payment as a service. This choice determines the trajectory of today’s transit systems.

Opting for a customized solution from an automated fare payment (AFC) system provider may seem tempting. However, such customized solutions come with inherent challenges. They require long commissioning times, carry significant risks, and are costly to develop, maintain, and upgrade. Stagnation in updating features and functions without additional costs causes them to fall into disrepair over time.

In contrast, implementing a Fare Payments-as-a-Service approach through a multi-tenant fare payment platform results in a paradigm shift. Capabilities are rapidly deployed to all agencies on a common platform, enabling rapid adoption, cost-effectiveness, and continuous improvement. Amortizing costs across all platform users creates an efficient, constantly evolving ecosystem where each upgrade benefits the entire user base. The future of e-ticketing systems for public transportation lies in the collaborative efforts of Fare Payments-as-a-Service.

What’s the future of contactless ticketing?

The development of the field of contactless tickets for public transportation is a story of rapid development and undeniable demand. As one of the most in-demand products, contactless tickets have a bright future ahead of them. The rapid adoption of this technology serves as a harbinger of its continued importance to the transit industry.

Investments in research and development promise even more convenient payment options, further cementing contactless tickets as an integral part of the public transportation ecosystem. This progress heralds a future in which traditional devices such as ticket vending machines (TVMs) and drivers selling tickets manually may become a relic of the past.

With modern urban development, large cities cannot afford to ignore the need to provide contactless ticketing for their residents. The digitalization of transit services is not just an expectation; it is a necessity, ensuring that the future of e-ticketing systems for public transport is one in which convenience and efficiency are seamlessly integrated into passengers’ daily lives.

Final Words

In conclusion, the emergence of contactless tickets for public transport and the evolution of e-ticketing systems has opened a story of transformational innovation. As cities meet the demand for efficient cashless travel, the introduction of contactless ticketing is becoming not just a technological leap but a strategic move. It simplifies agency operations, improves the passenger experience, and shapes a future in which public transportation is seamlessly integrated into passengers’ daily lives. The development trajectory is undeniably contactless, and the transition to a cashless ecosystem is now imperative for today’s urban landscapes.

As a cutting-edge technological exemplar, Ficus Technologies is committed to bringing the future of public transportation into the digital age. Specializing in advanced contactless tickets for public transport solutions and advanced e-ticketing systems, Ficus Technologies ensures that cities, agencies, and operators can seamlessly transition to more efficient, safe, and convenient travel. 

Can contactless ticketing be used for multiple modes of public transport (e.g., buses, trains, trams)?

Yes, contactless ticketing can seamlessly integrate and be used across multiple modes of public transport, offering a unified and convenient travel experience. Whether it’s buses, trains, trams, or a combination of these modes, the versatility of contactless systems allows passengers to use a single ticket or payment method across the entire transit network. This not only simplifies the passenger journey but also enhances the efficiency of fare management for transportation agencies. The interoperability of contactless ticketing systems contributes to a more cohesive and interconnected public transportation ecosystem, catering to the diverse needs of commuters using different modes of transit.

How does contactless ticketing contribute to passenger convenience?

Contactless ticketing significantly enhances passenger convenience by streamlining the entire travel experience. With a simple tap or scan, passengers can quickly validate their tickets using various methods such as smart cards, mobile apps, or wearables. This eliminates the need for physical tickets or cash, reducing boarding times and minimizing touchpoints. The flexibility of contactless systems extends to account-based solutions, allowing users to manage fares digitally. Fast boarding, reduced waiting times, and accessibility through diverse devices make contactless ticketing a hassle-free solution. It not only improves efficiency but also promotes a more comfortable, hygienic, and environmentally friendly mode of public transportation.

Sergey Miroshnychenko
My company has assisted hundreds of businesses in scaling engineering teams and developing new software solutions from the ground up. Let’s connect.