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In July 2021, UITP, Visa and other key players from the industry launched the new Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum. The Forum aims to advance adoption of open loop payment systems in public transport across the globe and help cities create efficient, inclusive, and sustainable door-to-door travel experiences, enabled by simple, convenient, and secure open loop payments systems.

Together UITP, Visa, American Express and Scheidt & Bachmann, will help pave the way for a world in which paying for public transport at home is as familiar and compelling as it is when visiting a city abroad.

Open loop means any eligible payment method can be used without having to be part of the system itself. A passenger can use their existing contactless card to pay for a trip, even if they are not affiliated with the transport network.

Passengers can use public transport without additional hurdles. They do not have to install an app first or buy an agency specific smartcard for every city they live in or visit. Riders can simply use a payment card or contactless device such as a phone. They are already familiar with these tools, easing concerns about unused credit balances.

The launch of the Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum follows calls from the transportation sector to create a clearer framework for engaging in a more open dialogue at an international level on open loop payments in public transport.

“By partnering with UITP on the Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum, we are able to help accelerate worldwide accessibility to more seamless, contactless ways to pay on transportation systems, and better meet the needs of transit operators, and passengers everywhere.” Jason Blackhurst, Senior Vice President of global seller products, Visa
UITP, in collaboration with Visa as lead partner, and alongside other payments industry leaders including American Express and Scheidt & Bachmann, provides a platform to all relevant stakeholders, including payment systems, industry partners, public transport operators and authorities.

The Forum facilitates an exchange of ideas and a dialogue on solutions and processes. Through raising awareness, it aims to make implementing open loop payment systems easier and less costly for public transport organisations.

“As UITP we constantly seek to further develop the integrated sustainable mobility of the future. To do this, it is of great importance to collaborate with external partners and facilitate innovation and knowledge exchange in the sector.” Sylvain Haon, Senior Director of Strategy at UITP

Jason Blackhurst, SVP of global seller products at Visa: “Now more than ever, passengers of public transportation expect cleaner, safer, and more convenient ways to pay when they ride, and transit systems everywhere need the resources to keep pace with these changing expectations.”

The Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum will launch a series of initiatives to inform and educate the wider market and improve understanding and know-how of the stakeholders of the public transport sector, in particular public transport operators and authorities

The Forum will be uniquely placed to understand the challenges of the markets, to educate its players, and together advance innovation.