EMV First
16-Nov-2023 14:03:14
by James Gooch

The Open Payment-First Approach to Upgrading Your Fare Payment Solution and Supporting All Rider Groups

Imagine being able to use the card or phone already in your pocket to effortlessly tap and ride without the need to purchase a ticket or select a fare in advance. That's precisely what an open payments solution offers – the most convenient way to experience public transit and easier than buying a cup of coffee! 

But with Masabi’s Justride Platform, Open Payments is just the beginning. Once live, the solution can be easily upgraded to support all rider groups using Masabi’s ‘Open Payments-First (EMV-First)’ approach. 

Let's delve into the details of the Open Payments-First approach, a step-by-step process that ensures a seamless transition for agencies looking to upgrade their fare payment solution. 

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Open Payments-First removes the headache of a large fare collection replacement project and ensures you can deliver an Open Payments experience quickly and easily. Once live, the platform can be seamlessly upgraded to other modules of Masabi’s Account-Based Ticketing platform ensuring a seamless payment experience for all and supporting all rider groups whether they are banked, underbanked, prefer to use cash, require a discount, or don’t own a smartphone. 

(It’s worth noting that this approach does provide an easy launch and upgrade path but every agency is different and some might group steps together, miss some out, or launch all in one go.)



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Step 1: Tap to Pay Open Payments Solution

The first step in this approach involves delivering a tap-and-pay solution with a flat charge. This ensures a speedy launch and while the convenience would be available to all riders with a mobile wallet-enabled smartphone or contactless card, it would be particularly useful for attracting tourists and occasional riders. These groups tend to be less familiar with the fare media available to ride public transit systems and accessing and using these services can sometimes be a daunting task. By enabling riders to quickly and easily pay for their transit without the hassle of purchasing tickets or dealing with complex fare structures, the barriers to riding transit are significantly reduced.

(Please note: Masabi offers an off-the-shelf Open Payments module (Open Payments +) that comes pre-integrated with validation devices, a payment gateway, and an acquiring bank, meaning agencies avoid the issue of attaining Level 3 EMV certification, as the solution is already certified. Masabi also offers North American agencies a Merchant of Record service, reducing the bureaucratic burden for agency teams. This solution is both easy to deploy and cost-effective. However, if an agency already has validation devices or can’t change their gateway or acquiring bank Masabi also helps make the integration and certification process as seamless as possible.)



Step 2: Fare Capping for Commuters

Commuters rejoice! Fare capping for open payments is the next evolution in making public transit more accessible. With Fare Capping, riders can enjoy the benefits of daily, weekly, and monthly passes without needing to purchase them in advance. As we move beyond catering to tourists and occasional riders, the next phase focuses on enhancing the experience for more regular riders. This means that commuters can effortlessly travel without worrying about fare calculations, providing seamless and cost-effective journeys.

(Please note: Deploying fare-capping rules to include monthly passes has been proven to increase ridership significantly. You can read more about this here.)


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Step 3: Mobile App and Smart Cards for Unbanked or Underbanked Riders

Recognizing the diverse needs of riders, we understand the importance of accommodating those who may not have access to bank-issued payment methods. By introducing smart cards and mobile ticketing options, Masabi offers an inclusive solution that caters to unbanked and underbanked riders.

Additionally, the advantage of using branded fare media helps foster a stronger agency-rider relationship and gives agencies greater data insights. With the right Account-Based Ticketing provider you can deliver these user groups a seamless fare payment experience without riders needing to select a fare or purchase a ticket in advance, with Fare Capping ensuring they are always charged the lowest fare for their trip, enhancing fare equity.

These fare media options, powered by an Account-Based Ticketing platform, ensure all rider groups have an Open Payment experience and delivers it in an equitable way by ensuring every user group does not pay more for riding transit.    



Step 4: Enabling All Concessionary Groups and Riders Requiring Discounts

To ensure that every rider group is accounted for, it's crucial to enable concessions and discounts seamlessly. Masabi's Agency Back-Office Hub and Institutional Partner Portal make this process effortless. By leveraging these tools agencies can easily implement discount programs for college students, veterans, and other concessionary groups. Moreover, this system supports agency partner programs, allowing institutions and corporate clients to self-serve tickets to their employees and staff.


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Step 5: Targeting Choice Riders with Integrated Door-to-Door Experiences via MaaS Integrations

To attract choice riders and provide a truly comprehensive transit experience, it's essential to embrace Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) integrations. By integrating with various transportation options and services, we can offer riders a seamless door-to-door experience. This integrated approach not only enhances convenience but also encourages more individuals to choose transit as their preferred mode of transportation. Masabi is already integrated into MaaS apps such as Uber, Moovit, and Transit and is delivering Mobility as a Service payment experiences through its platform connecting public and private modes. These options are crucial in helping make it easier for people to leave their cars at home and choose transit helping to reduce congestion and pollution.



Embracing the Open Payment-First approach for fare payments is a game-changer for riders of all groups and agencies who can roll out a solution in manageable stages. By leveraging Masabi's expertise in Account-Based Ticketing and Fare Payments-as-a-Service, agencies can swiftly implement a tap-to-pay experience that is user-friendly, inclusive, and cost-effective.

With the convenience of open payments, stored value and a variety of fare media options, and tailored solutions for concessionary groups and choice riders, we are paving the way for a future where riding public transit is easier than buying a cup of coffee for everyone.

Interested in learning more?

Our team of experts can provide valuable insights into the Open Payments-First approach and help you understand how its implementation could look for your organization. Contact our team now for a free demo.


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Written by James Gooch

Head of Marketing at Masabi.
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