Ticketing Revolution: Streamlining Public Transport for Africa

Written by: Anazi Zote Piper

Smarter Mobility Africa hosted its recent monthly webinar in partnership with Visa. The focus? “Elevating Passenger Experiences – Seamless Urban Travel with Ticketing and Payment Solutions” Missed it all? We’ve got you covered! Here are some key takeaways to summarise this webinar.  

Our panel of experts: 

Inanc Karabulut, International Research Market Analyst at Kentkart
Vinesh Ramnarain, Vice President: Product & Solutions, Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa
Simisola Elegba, Public Transport Engineer, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority
Andrea Soehnchen, Manager Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum at UITP
Thea Fisher, the Senior Director for Global Urban Mobility at Visa

Hosted by:
Ben Pullen, Group Director of Mobility, Smarter Mobility Africa | VUKA Group 

The secret lies in collaboration. Our panel of experts emphasized the importance of teamwork between transport authorities, operators, financiers, and tech companies. This united front is crucial for creating a smooth payment experience. 

The benefits go beyond convenience for commuters. Ditching paper tickets for contactless payments unlocks a treasure trove of data for transport authorities. This data empowers them to optimize routes, improve service delivery, and potentially cut costs – a win-win for everyone. 

Thea Fisher, the Senior Director for Global Urban Mobility at Visa highlighted the growing demand for contactless payments. Visa has seen a 30% rise in tap-to-ride transactions in 2023, with a staggering 750 project launches globally.  

“At Visa, we have a mission to uplift everyone everywhere by being the best way to pay and be paid. And I think we’d be very remiss if in that mission we missed out the first transaction that people make in the morning and often the last transaction that they make at night,” said Fisher. 

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A webinar designed to future proof your fleet

Interestingly, Visa’s surveys reveal that 94% of riders expect contactless options, and 45% would use public transport more if payment was easier. This presents a clear opportunity: making payments frictionless is key to attracting riders and reducing reliance on private cars. 

Open loop payments are another game-changer. This system eliminates the need for separate transit cards, making public transport even more accessible. Additionally, the webinar showcased successful case studies from cities around the world that have transitioned to open loop payments. By learning from these experiences, Africa can adapt and implement its own best-fit solutions. 

The discussion wasn’t all presentations. The event fostered collaboration and innovation by providing a platform for key players in the public transport sector to network and connect. With this type of teamwork, a driving force behind cutting-edge ticketing and payment solutions will revolutionize public transport in Africa. 

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