As a global trend among major urban cities, digitizing fare collections has proven to carry many benefits. For commuters, it means not wasting time lining up at ticket booths or counting loose change; for cities, it means significant cost savings from more efficient and connected operations.
In the Philippines, the need to pursue smarter solutions in improving the transit experience runs parallel with the government's agenda to pursue infrastructure projects that address considerable challenges in transit.
"Metro Manila is recognized as having one of the worst traffic conditions in Southeast Asia, with commuters and motorists spending hours in transit every day. Given that the ranks of daily commuters continue to grow as well, improving the speed and reliability of transport services becomes a key concern for residents," said Rowell Del Fierro, Country Manager of Mastercard Philippines.
To help address this, Mastercard Transit Solutions and the company's banking and technology partners, had come up with a sound response – just by tapping your card or phone is all it takes to get around the city with ease and convenience.
With the theme "Digitizing Payments for a Smarter Travel Experience," Mastercard recently hosted the "Transit Knowledge Exchange Forum" where representatives from the government and the business sector from around the region discussed ways to improve commuters' travel experience.
The forum introduced the "Mastercard City Possible" Initiative, a public-private partnership model that aims to meet the needs of people in different cities. With the help of the private sector and the network of cities, they co-create, pilot, and scale solutions to address urban challenges around the world.
"Mastercard hopes to share its knowledge with the Philippine government and business representatives, with the end-goal of using smart solutions to improve the commuter experience for Filipinos," Del Fierro added.
This initiative comes after Mastercard transformed London's ticketing system to contactless technology, where residents and tourists are able to travel across the city in utmost convenience with the use of EMV cards that they already carry with them.
"As the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has already mandated local banks to shift to EMV enabled cards, it makes sense for transit agencies in the Philippines to leverage on this and adopt an open loop payment system. In addition, enabling commuters to use their contactless bank cards plays a key role in unlocking economic opportunity in the country," Del Fierro said.
In the Philippines, 25 million residents already have EMV cards, allowing for the tap and go system to be seamlessly implemented in the country's transport system. This means millions of people who will visit the country can enjoy the same open loop contactless EMV payment system that they experience in other parts of the world.
By partnering with cities, transit agencies and technology companies, Mastercard hopes to make traveling across and between cities – including cities in the Philippines – simpler and more convenient than ever.
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