Transit riders show remarkable gusto in using their smartphones and tabs to make payment for rides. In recent years, there has been a spike in mobile-enabled payment options for making both short and long-distance trips. When you consider the growing level of acceptance of purchasing rides using smart cards in modern times, one undeniable fact comes to mind: Today’s world is on the move, and mobile phone technology has a key role to play in this trend.
People are taking local and international trips now more than ever. According to research conducted by the World Tourism Organization, it was forecast that by the year 2030, a global population of 8.5 billion individuals will go on nearly 2 billion international trips. Next-generation technologies — the likes of the Internet of Things; driverless vehicles, 5G Internet capability — are engendering radical changes in how we take trips and regard transportation as well as mobility options.
Our transit services are faster now, and on foreign trips, we’re equally fortunate to enjoy the improved quality and more comfortable accommodations. Also, there are amazing apps and tools, which allow us to go on a journey more conveniently, more frequently. Without a modicum of doubt, technology has impacted how billions of people all over the world travel locally, internationally, for pleasure or business. Smartphones, Artificial Intelligence (AI), electronic payments, and others have brought about immense changes in how we travel.
Technology and Changes in Transit Consumers’ Behavior
Every now and then, new trends emerge in the ways consumers make purchasing decisions when looking to use a particular service; and this new wave of changes have also hit the transport sector. Evidently, what kept customers satisfied around 10 years ago can no longer do so today. Internet and recent technologies have dramatically changed consumption behaviors, and the travel sector has witnessed a lot of transformations due to digital technologies.
We will summarize these changes in consumers’ behavior in 3 ways:
- Consumers in this day and age demand that transit services are provided with more immediacy than they have ever done in the past
- Riders anticipate a seamless experience when relating with companies, whichever channel is used for the interactions, be it via emails, messaging apps, or face-to-face contact
- Clients love personalized content as well as services.
Technology is responsible for the higher demands customers make, as well as the new changes in their travel patterns.
New Advances in Mobile-Enabled Payment Options
For many years now, the leading-edge technology used for public transit ticketing has looked something like the Octopus card in Hong Kong or the Oyster card in the UK. It is only a matter of time that recent advances in mobile-enabled payment tools will sound the death knell on low-tech paper tickets. A single PVC smart card has the potential of simplifying ticketing across some platforms, providing commuters with easy access to a quick swipe to the bus, the subway, the ferry, park-and-ride garages, commuter rail as well as coffee shops in transit stations.
Novel business models designed for transport sharing services are bringing about changes in the way people get around. For instance, Mobility as a Service, pioneered in Finland, is a mobile phone-enabled option that facilitates making payment for trips with just an app. Much the same way you purchase a phone contract, this service lets you select from various plans, providing credit facility for public transport, car rental, taxis, and bike sharing schemes.
Impact of Mobile Payment Technology on Transit
This technology makes commuting less time-consuming and eco-friendlier. Mobile payment options for transit can help make your local and international trips a lot environmentally friendlier. Gone are those times when you needed to print airline tickets, hotel reservation or boarding passes. With your phone, you can conveniently make online reservations, do mobile check-ins, and purchase e-tickets; thus, helping you save large amounts of paper and obviating the need to go about with numerous documents. Additionally, making online reservations and getting bookings on the Internet help prevent wasting time because you wouldn’t have to stay in line to buy a ticket.
15 years ago, using transit services was starkly different than what we have today. In the years past, you would have to spend some time eagerly peering down the local road, waiting to catch a bus which always seemed to take forever, with the specific amount for your fare clutched in your palm.
However, the situation is a lot better now as several commuters can now relax and enjoy a more comfortable transit experience, armed with information on the exact time the bus will arrive and offered the opportunity to make payment for transit on their mobile phone via options, such as smart card, mobile ticket, or contactless card. The use of public transport smart cards was pioneered by commuters in 1994 on buses in the Harrow area of London. Ever since the payment system has spread to many other parts of the UK and across world cities, including New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Stockholm, Paris, among many others.