More Asian Cities Open Up to Open-Loop Cards and NFC- and QR Code-Based Fare Payments

Feb 22 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Unlike transit authorities in the U.S. and Europe, transit agencies and the governments that control them in Asia often run their closed-loop fare-collection schemes as separate businesses.

These schemes, in such cities as Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei, are also widely used for retail payments. All of this is no doubt one reason that transit officials in Asia have been slow to embrace open-loop payments from internationally branded credit and debit cards. This payment option would represent competition for their much-used closed-loop stored-value cards. 

But transit agencies and operators in several Asian cities with their own close-loop payments schemes have been moving toward accepting open-loop payments. That includes those in Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and in Taiwan’s No. 2 city, Kaohsiung. They will accept contactless and NFC-enabled bank cards branded by Mastercard, Visa payWave or both, or are already doing so. 

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