A remote control for cities? MasterCard and Cubic have a plan

Wed, 2015-03-04 06:00 -- SCC Staff

A move to help millions of daily commuters around the world experience faster, more convenient and personalized ways to get around by tapping into the power of their mobile phones was just announced by MasterCard and Cubic Transportation Systems. Both MasterCard and Cubic are Council Lead Partners.

The companies point out that with more than half of the world’s population already living in cities, many transportation systems have reached capacity. That means transportation authorities are looking for ways to better manage existing demand and create investments in new infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the penetration of smart devices is opening up new opportunities for service operators to connect with transportation users before, during and after a journey – and in turn provide a more tailored and efficient experience.

Convergence of digital payments, ticketing and journey planning
The MasterCard-Cubic alliance announced at this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona should help accelerate the conversion of the $200 billion in fares still paid in cash into digital payments, saving operators cost for cash-handling and speeding up through-put. By introducing globally interoperable payment solutions for urban transportation systems, traveling between cities will become much easier, with no need to carry multiple tickets.

The companies want to develop solutions that:

  • Provide individual travelers with real-time guidance on their mobile devices on the smartest way to travel, offering fare incentives if the system becomes congested or overcrowded
  • Enable transportation operators to offer flexible pricing based on system demand
  • Offer retailers at and around transportation hubs ways to alert travelers to personalized offers and rewards on the go

As part of the agreement, MasterPass, MasterCard’s secure digital payment service, will be integrated with Cubic’s NextWave ticketing and journey planning app.

Improving quality of life for everyday citizens
“MasterCard and Cubic, both lead members in the Smart Cities Council, share a vision to improve quality of life for everyday citizens in cities and help authorities to better manage population growth and urban development,” said Will Judge, head of Urban Mobility, MasterCard Enterprise Partnerships. “Combining our expertise and reach allows us to ultimately drive greater value and make consumers’ lives easier and more enjoyable as they travel around and between connected cities.”

Matt Cole, executive vice president, strategy and business development of Cubic Transportation Systems, said: “Partnering with MasterCard elevates the offerings within our NextWave mobile solution to a new level, and strengthens our NextCity story to demonstrate to urban centers everywhere how serious we are about addressing their transportation challenges.”

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