Open fare payment: paying for what you really use

Open fare payment

The traditional and most widespread ticketing systems depend greatly on the particular transport-entitlement, whether contactless card, magnetic stripe card or paper ticket. Solutions of this type have to be carried around by the passenger at all times. Another big disadvantage is that they have to be paid for beforehand; a previous decision therefore also has to be taken about the best fare arrangement (multi-journey ticket, season ticket, e-purse…) and the transport entitlement then has to be stored and discounted on the card in question.

Today’s transport technology, however, now enables us to overcome the limitations of off-line or closed-loop systems, swapping them for open-loop or account-based ticketing, where users simply need a means of identification (token), after which the payments are deducted from a user account rather than a particular farecard scheme.

These identification methods are various. The most widespread is the EMV card; other options are NFC- or QR-code-enabled cell phones with the corresponding app, or other arrangements like student cards or citizen cards. The key to systems of this type is cloud management, the transport firm settling transactions in terms of the passengers’ real use of the service.

The passengers’ advantages are clear: no prepayment is now necessary; neither do previous decisions have to be made about the fare system. Instead the passenger pays afterwards in terms of his or her actual use within a given timeframe. For example, if the single-journey ticket costs €1 and the weekly ticket costs €10, as soon as the user makes 10 journeys within the same week, the maximum he or she will pay is €10; in other words the rest of the validations made that week will not be charged.

There are also significant advantages for the operator, including the cost-saving of no longer having to issue and deal with thousands of fare cards.

GMV has made great strides in this direction. Some of its onboard validators, like the TV10 and the Electronic Ticketing Machine DTD100, now work with EMV cards, and several customers have turned to GMV for setting up these state-of-the-art systems, such as the Consorcio de Transportes de Mallorca, the Transporte Urbano Comarcal de Pamplona and SURBUS Almería.

What do you make of these open fare-payment systems?

Author: Isidro Prieto Valderrey

Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV
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