The Netherlands has reportedly become the first country in the world to roll out a contactless transit payments system nationwide.
The initiative aims to simplify access to public transport by allowing travellers to tap-in and tap-out with their debit card, credit card or digital wallet.
Thus, all public transport across the country – including trains, buses, metros, and trams – now accept OVpay, an open-loop system comprising upgraded infrastructure and software designed to ensure frictionless journeys and secure payments.
The nationwide OVpay launch in the Netherlands involved Mastercard partnering with public transport companies and Translink to support local banks with implementing mobility transaction processing rules.
With OVpay, tickets or public transport passes are no longer required, with the exception for those who have a subscription. Riders can pay with a debit and credit card or with a smartphone or smartwatch on which the card is uploaded to a wallet.
“With this implementation, we’re helping to make public transport more accessible to the wider public,” said Jan-Willlem van der Schoot, Mastercard’s country manager for the Netherlands. “From now on, there’s no need to separately buy tickets or miss your train because the balance on your public transport card is too low.”
Open-loop payment solutions are currently accepted in a number of metropolitan areas around the world, including London, New York City, Sydney and Milan, but has never been launched comprehensively nationwide before.