Mastercard Backs Open-Loop Transit Payments in Taiwan’s No. 2 City

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second-largest city, plans to enable riders to enter subway gates by tapping contactless EMV credit cards and NFC wallets by the end of the year, working with Mastercard.

Although only a small metro system, Kaohsiung would be the first such system in Asia outside of China and Singapore to enable open-loop payments of transit fares, not counting an airport shuttle line that started accepting open-loop payments several years ago in Malaysia. Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, which is still officially trialing open-loop payments, is expected to move to a commercial rollout soon, and is also working exclusively with Mastercard.

Mastercard like Visa are pushing the idea of open-loop fare collection to transit authorities and public transport operators around the world, seeking to increase transactions on credit, debit and prepaid cards carrying their respective brands. They hold up as a showcase the rollout of open-loop fare collection by London transit authority Transport for London, in late 2012 on buses and September 2014 on the London Underground. Contactless EMV cards are now used for around 2.5 million transactions per day in London, and NFC wallets make up around 13% of those contactless transactions. 

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