Contactless Payments and the Transport Industry

Technological advancement, digitalization, and recently the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the means of transaction. People are now more concerned about social distancing and minimizing contact. With the globally changing trends, business communities are focusing on digitization and connectivity. Recent research has shown that only in the UAE and KSA contactless payments are 60% and 85%, respectively.

Contactless transit helps remove some cost of ticketing and promotes account-based ticketing, allowing transit operators to understand passenger flows. Much research from Transport Focus has shown that youngsters are more commonly using contactless payments through online banking, mobile wallets, and credit cards to travel. The contactless card’s benefit is restricted to the youngster, but mostly older adults also made contactless payments in for their traveling purpose.

In the UAE, with the advancement in market opportunity and growing dynamic of contactless payments by mobile, online banking, and credit cards, value volume and transaction values are also changing in the travel industry. People are using contactless payments for:

  • Online Flight Bookings
  • Online Bus & Train Booking
  • Online Domestic Flight Bookings
  • Online Domestic Bus & Train Bookings
  • Online International Flight Bookings
  • Online International Bus & Train Bookings
  • Transit & Toll, Taxi & Cabs Bookings

Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has reported that taxi payment via contactless payments has hit 3,199,323 transactions in the first quarter of the 2019 year. This figure suggested a massive growth in contactless payments compared to the number of same transactions recorded during the period in 2018, which was recorded as 1,307,968 transactions. Based on these positive results, RTA has recently completed introducing the whole fleet of Dubai Taxi of around 10,800 taxis with the point of service devices. Taxi passengers can now pay for their travel via online banking, mobile wallet or credit cards, or using the NFC feature in smartphones supporting Apple Pay or Samsung Pay digital wallets.


Tap-to-Pay Payments:

Many contactless payment companies offer collaboration with the UAE government to promote contactless payments for the transport industry. This facility enables travelers to tap-to-pay using their existing Visa card, a mobile phone, and online banking mobile apps. Using contactless payments at public transport gates is growing globally by considering the need for passengers to buy paper tickets, own an additional travel card, or queue at a bus, taxi, train, or plane counter to top up a card purchase a ticket. By using contactless payments, travelers can quickly move just at the touch of their mobile wallet, mobile apps, and credit card, which will improve the flow of passengers at entry and exit gate points. Since contactless payments are pin-free, passengers need not wait at entry gates, allowing passengers to enjoy a seamless experience from their departure to their destination.

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