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Contactless Fare Payments and MaaS in APAC: Key takeaways from GMT’s virtual event [free access]

July 1, 2020

Global Mass Transit Research organised a half-day virtual event on ‘Contactless Fare Payments and MaaS in APAC’ on June 17, 2020. The event was attended by representatives of transit authorities, operators, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) providers, mobility service providers, research institutes, technology providers, ticketing associations, and consultants. The conference was supported by Cubic as the sponsor.


The event focused on contactless payments for transit using ticketing options such as bank cards (EMV), mobile payments, e-wallets, and smartcards that are being explored across the Asia Pacific region to encourage the use of public transport following the COVID-19 pandemic. Such contactless payment methods eliminate the need for handling cash and prevent direct contact between passengers and transit agency employees. Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) business models, ticketing apps, and real-time passenger communication can enhance customer service standards and ensure operational efficiency as public transport systems and transit agencies prepare for recovery from the effects of the pandemic.


MaaS allows the integration of public and private mobility options for customer-centric mobility solutions and convenient payment options which are expected to increase ridership. Many cities and countries in Asia Pacific are exploring MaaS and are deploying contactless payments as a step towards achieving MaaS.


The three-hour virtual event included five presentation by consultants, transit authorities, and Cubic, followed by a panel discussion and a Q&A session with the attendees and a 30-minute speed-networking session. Around 170 participants from over 95 organisations and 28 countries participated in the event.


The presentations were made by the following key speakers:



The key takeaways from the conference are discussed below.


Key trends


Figure 1: Planned AFC investments and deployment of fare media in Asia Pacific

Source: KPMG



Perspective of the technology provider


Case studies






Figure 2: MaaS pilot projects in Japan            

Source: MLIT




Conclusion of event


The virtual event offered a platform for discussing the current trends in transit ticketing and MaaS, and for forecasting deployments in the Asia Pacific region. The transit authorities are focusing on the deployment of customer-centric fare media. Technology providers for mobile ticketing and for the open-payment system have ample opportunities in the region. Experts emphasise the importance of integrating various modes of transportation, especially in the post-COVID-19 period. The data collected through ABT, especially during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, can be used to improvise routes, to track the journeys of COVID-impacted commuters, and to reorganise transport services.


The concept of MaaS is rapidly gaining acceptable in East Asia (especially Japan and Taiwan), providing a window of opportunity for MaaS providers.