7 Amazing Transit Based Mobile Payment Systems Not to be Left Unnoticed

We have all heard of mobile contactless payment systems and their applications in the real world. The companies behind such payment solutions want to make their mark by implementing smooth and efficient mobile payment systems around the globe. What could be the opportunity then to enable such solutions at public transport systems that provide the instant scale of a huge customer base? With this synergy in mind, there are many companies who have already taken the initiative and deployed the following interesting use cases:

Madrid Public Transport & Gemalto

In Spain, Gemalto is providing a mobile contactless solution that enables NFC based access to the Madrid transport system. Gemalto is delivering its Allynis Trusted Service Manager (TSM) and UpTeq Multitenant SIM with MIFARE DESFire technologies to CRTM and Telefonica respectively. Telefonica is Spain’s leading MNO (mobile network operator). The new payment system for the public transport system is currently in its pilot phase. Users are required to download the transport application developed by Samsung. The Samsung application allows users to register payment cards securely to conveniently purchase digital tickets. The TSM is used to top up the application on the SIM with the tickets that the users buy.


The Israel based company, established back in 2012, focuses on developing alternate ways of paying for public transportation. The HopOn system is already in use at more than 7 public transport operators in Israel, installed on a total of more than 2,000 vehicles, including buses, BRT, LRT, and bike rental stations. The solution leverages mobile devices and the HopOn app, which connects to the HopOn beacons placed inside public transport vehicles. The app also connects to the cloud from where the transit details are retrieved. Through the app, and the information from the Cloud, users can select their journey, receive tickets, and get charged with the fare then-and-there. The company is now incorporating sound wave technology as well to enable any mobile device with the HopOn app installed to interact with the HopOn beacons and purchase tickets.

SFMTA & GlobeSherpa

San Franciscans will soon be able to purchase tickets directly through a mobile app. Earlier this year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency had announced that it will pilot a new smartphone application for purchasing and using transit fares across the Muni system. The SFMTA has partnered with GlobeSherpa, a leading provider of secure mobile ticketing and payment software, to deliver this project to Muni customers. GlobeSherpa's mobile ticketing platform allows transit riders to purchase, store, and use tickets to ride the Muni system using a smartphone and an e-commerce website. Users will be able to store a debit or credit card, or use PayPal to purchase tickets anytime and anywhere. GlobeSherpa also will provide SFMTA Transit Fare Inspectors with a new enforcement application to verify mobile fares using a separate hand-held mobile device.


Metra is the commuter rail division of the Illinois Regional Transportation Authority. The system serves Chicago and its metropolitan area. Metra is poised to roll out a mobile-ticket purchasing platform. Commuters will soon have the option to pay on-train fares using their smartphones linked with a credit or debit card, or a Ventra account. The app associated with the system would also incorporate features such as add transit value, load passes onto Ventra cards, check balances and receive real-time account alerts.


Semble is a New Zealand based independent company jointly owned by Paymark, 2degrees, Vodafone, and Spark. The company has launched an integrated mobile wallet system for the one million smartphone users in the nation. The Semble solution incorporates ASB and BNZ payment capability and secure virtual versions of debit and credit cards, and can be used wherever a contactless payment can be made. Semble is a one stop solution and will replace transport cards and ticketing as well. The Semble Ready secure SIM card is a key component of the solution that works in sync with the app. Snapper, which issues cards for public transport, has partnered with Semble to allow mobile based transit payments.

China Mobile & Gemalto

China Mobile is poised to launch NFC transport services leveraging Gemalto’s UpTeq Multi-tenant NFC SIMs. Gemalto’s SIM based technology enables hosting of BestPay, China Telecom’s mobile payment application, which can used for public transport ticketing.

MasterCard & Cubic Transportation Systems

At Mobile World Congress this year, MasterCard announced a global partnership with Cubic Transportation Systems, a leading provider for smart city solutions across North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific. The alliance is designed to help the millions of daily commuters around the world experience faster, more convenient and personalized ways to get around, tapping into the power of their mobile devices. The upcoming solution would provide individual travelers with real-time guidance on their mobile devices on the smartest way to travel, offering fare incentives if the system becomes congested or overcrowded. As part of the agreement, MasterPass, MasterCard’s secure digital payment service, will be integrated with Cubic’s NextWave ticketing and journey planning app.