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OPINION Why am I still carrying dirty cash to pay for travel?

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I always carry cash on me. But in today’s contactless, card swiping society, does that make me a bit behind the times? David Foord, examines his behaviour.

According to the WHO, dirty banknotes may be spreading the coronavirus. At a time when we should be being more cautious than ever, it seems senseless to carry cash to ensure I can get about. However, with zero cash and a temporarily duff bank card, I may be hard pushed to pay for a bus ticket home.

This is backed up by a new study by Capital on Tap looking into the Rise of Digital Wallets, analysing how they are becoming the main source of transactions around the world, finds that cash could be the least used method of payment by as early as 2022.

While some transport companies have launched native mobile applications to enable consumers to purchase their travel tickets via card payments on the go, few have combined their smartphone applications with the ability to accept mobile payments such as Apple Pay, mobile wallets, carrier billing and the alike. But why?

How mobile payments enable transport companies to capitalise on point of need purchases

Driving and public transportation in 2020 looks very different. Post-lockdown, it comes as no surprise people are looking to avoid overcrowded public transport.

What’s apparent is that alternative transport options are the innovators when it comes to mobile payments; they seem to get the gist that people don’t want to be faffing around with cash or inputting lengthy card details.

E-transport or mobile paid taxi services are convenient and cheaper options in comparison to driving and conventional taxi companies. Cashless taxi services have changed the way we travel, from reducing waiting times to the speed payments are processed, travelling from A to B has never been easier.

The taxi service, Bolt provides new customers with start-up discounts and refer- a-friend codes to unanimously help cut costs for users – It’s also super simple to order a taxi.

And then there’s E-scooters which have taken many European cities by a storm over the last few years. With the increasing demand of people needing to travel without using public transport, London opened up its arms to this craze by Bird, an e-transport service based in the USA, who offered the public to test their rental service in Stratford. And just this week, Nottingham has announced that e-scooters, operated by Wind Mobility are available for hire in the city.

The popularity of e-bikes have also risen over the last few years as they are cheaper and are now arguably a safer alternative for commuting to work. The infamous Santander bikes cost £2 for 30 minutes, for a journey longer than 30 mins, a charge of additional £2 will be charged to the users card making it significantly cheaper than driving.

Carrier billing: the swift payment method

If mobile payment systems are implemented correctly, the benefits for paying by mobile are clear: there’s no unnecessary handling of cash and it’s simply a quicker payment.

Carrier billing allows for payments to be made in seconds, it can sit alongside other payment methods, in an app and instead of needing to input their credit card details, commuters are able to simply charge the costs to their mobile phone bill and swiftly get to their destination. Being able to pay so quickly also allows commuters to pay on the go, meaning they’ll travel without the added worry of having the right cash.

The public have long looked at transport companies in a negative light, seeing them as desperate to hike ticket prices and handout fines. In unprecedented times such as now, there’s never been a better time to make the process simple and build and protect consumer trust.

Author

David Foord is commercial executive at Fonix

 

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