Mobile Wallet Technology Targets Mass Transit
Open-loop payment technology was a hot topic at the recent Mobile and Transit Payments Summit, put on by the Smart Card Alliance. Below are some remarks on the topic, published in industry trade publication NFC Times, from Jim Stapleton of Isis, a joint venture of mobile carriers Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile USA:
"Transit is a killer app for mobile wallets," Stapleton said, no doubt tailoring his remarks to the transit authority representatives in the audience. He noted that mass-transit ridership in the United States is at its highest in five decades, with an estimated 10.5 billion passenger trips recorded in 2008, citing figures from the American Public Transportation Association.
But transit agencies spend 5% to 15% of their revenue collecting fares, which equates to expenses of $515 million to $1.5 billion in 2008 for cards, processing, maintenance and other fare-collection costs.
"The path is being paved for mobile payments on transit, and Isis would be available in an open-loop system," said Stapleton.
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