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Public transport is looking forward to a facelift by the way commuters pay. The CBA is in talks with several states throughout Australia in the hopes of creating a combative payment plan to differ from the norm. Rather than using a metro card or cash, commuters would now be able to use a debit Visa, MasterCard or credit card. This includes digital wallets.

A successful run at this merged payment option was seen following a test program with Adelaide Metro. It has opened up the door to communicate using such technology in other states throughout Australia. In New South Wales, a contactless payment already exists. Since 2018, commuters could use a card reader to pay their fare.

A similar concept was already being used in Sydney for ferries and trains since 2018 with the Opal card. In 2019, buses followed. Although this has seen a successful run, the new idea will improve and be an alternative for the Opal card.

The overall goal is not just for public transportation, though. Merchant Solutions general manager Sam Itzcovitz hails the bank as being the leader in this initiative. The bank is working hard at making one single payment method for transportation a reality. He said conversations are beginning to form with government officials as well as pivotal partners such as Mastercard in how they can all work together to get a better experience for commuters.

They want to have a system that will fuse all transportation payment modes so that commuters will have one single form of payment instead of several. So, they could ride the metro, take an Uber, taxi, or any other mobility means of transportation all while using their debit or credit card to pay.

This also allows for a more consistent way for commuters to financially plan their transportation needs. If they were using three different ways of being transported, the current system is set up to make the rider pay with two to three forms of payment, whether through various apps or multiple forms of payment. Once the mitigation of this program is implemented, it will have one simple way for the commuter to pay.

Itzcovitz says the NSW and Adelaide Metro were just the beginning for what is to come. The bank is planning on expanding into different states with more mobility as a service program.

The United States has already started funding such transit projects as the Federal Transit Administration funded 25 projects in grants totaling up to $14 million USD due to the Accelerating Innovative Mobility program. The premise of these projects stands to improve on the digital systems in place with transportation methods now.

Directly, the Minnesota Department of Transportation was given the opportunity to design a program for multimodal trip payment and planning. It will work together with seven of the state’s transit agencies to provide a multimodal plan to include busing, taxis, and on-demand transportation. 13 counties will use fare integration to make use of one single payment option for commuters in those counties.

These changes should take effect in 2022.

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