Visa and MasterCard aim for contactless transport

Visa and MasterCard aim for contactless transport

Visa and MasterCard have unveiled seperate plans to install contactless payment technology in New York taxi cabs and at airport car parks.

Visa has teamed with New York-based taxi technology company Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) to equip thousands of cabs in the city with its contactless payWave payment readers.

The new readers are able to accept both Visa payWave payments as well as traditional swipe transactions. Passengers are able to include a tip to the price of the fare and no signature is required for transactions under $25.

Last year eftpos vendor Verifone said it was installing MasterCard's contactless payments system PayPass across all taxis licensed by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA). Passengers can pay their cab fare by tapping their PayPass-enabled card or device on a contactless reader attached to a VeriFone Omni 7000 payment system located in the back seat of the taxi.

The MasterCard technology is now being deployed at parking meters at select airports in the US under a deal inked with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS). PayPass readers are expected to be installed in four to six airport sites by the end of 2007 says ACS, although the meters will contiue to accept trandition mag-stripe payment cards as well.

Michael Huerta, MD of ACS Transportation Solutions, says: "Airport parking is an ideal setting for contactless payments because this technology streamlines a sometimes time-consuming activity for clients who frequently do not have time to spare."

Meanwhile in a separate move, UK start-up firm sQuidcard is reporting a deal with Bolton Council in North West England to incorporate its electronic purse technology into the Bolton Smart card, which is used to access leisure and library services.

Bolton residents will be able to load their smart cards with funds that can be used to pay for same value items at retailers displaying the sQuid logo.

Cliff Morris, council leader and executive member for corporate strategy and finance, says: "It's not a credit card, so people would not be running up a debt and can only spend the amount they have credited to it and if a card is lost it can be frozen."

Morris says future uses of the card could include a 'school purse' for lunches.

SQuid said last month that it was preparing to launch a low-fee alternative to the national contactless programme that would "never charge retailers more than 1.5% per transaction".

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