Transit authorities are constantly looking for ways to make their operations faster and more efficient. Simply put, passenger convenience can directly improve revenue. A smooth, speedy experience in public transit leads to overall customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to an improved reputation for the transit authority and more people choosing to take public transportation. Operational efficiency also allows transit authorities to accept more passengers each day, contributing to revenue increases as well.
However, there has historically been one step in the boarding process that has often been responsible for slowing things down: payment. In order to combat this fact and gain all the benefits of quick passenger boarding, transit agencies have placed new, fast payment technologies in high demand. Solution providers are now striving to develop systems with the shortest possible transaction time, and contactless payment technology is clearly the leader.
Contact vs. Contactless Payments
Traditional systems that involve tickets, tokens or cash can cost passengers significant amounts of time when trying to board a bus or train. Between waiting in line at the ticketing machine, fumbling through pockets or bags for cash, going through the purchasing procedures and getting through the turnstiles, this process can take several minutes – an unacceptable amount of time to anybody who’s in a hurry.
Unfortunately, even transit payment systems that accept modern chip cards can be too slow. According to one study, current chip transaction time is 7 to 10 seconds. The same study also suggests that one in five consumers believe chip cards simply take too long to be convenient. In fact, some retail stores have even been known to disable chip payments during the holidays because they were slowing down checkout lines. This is not recommended, however, because the reason chip card payments take longer has to do with the security features that are much more advanced than in magnetic stripe transactions.
Near-field communication (NFC) contactless payments combine the security of chip cards with the convenience of simply waving a smartphone or credit card near a payment terminal. Because passengers typically have easy access to their phones or cards, NFC payments allow passengers to board at unprecedentedly fast rates. NFC payments can be made using cards that have the universal contactless indicator or NFC-enabled smartphones with wallet services such as Apple Pay.
FEIG’s cVEND Smashes the Industry Standard
The Smart Card Alliance states that the industry standard for transaction times in transit is 300 milliseconds. While this is currently a respectable length of time for a transit payment, solution providers are still looking to provide faster systems. FEIG Electronics’ cVEND technology for NFC contactless payment has recently demonstrated even faster times in for the recently upgraded Trimet transit system.
“We had the 500 millisecond requirement, but we were really pleased to find out that when we rolled this out into the field, not only we seeing sub-200 millisecond times on rail, we were seeing sub-300 millisecond times on bus.” – Chris Tucker, Director of Revenue Operations, Trimet
This makes cVEND one of the fastest – if not the fastest – option available on the market. FEIG has achieved this transaction time without sacrificing any of the top-of-the-line security features cVEND is already known for. Because cVEND can be easily implemented into existing systems without necessitating a complete overhaul of a transit authority’s payment structure, any public transportation provider should consider making the upgrade to get the fastest payment systems – and the most satisfied customers – possible.
The FEIG cVEND product was recently featured in a webinar including Chris Tucker, Director of Revenue Operations at Trimet. You can watch the webinar replay by clicking the link below.Watch the Webinar
Webinar Summary: Discover how TriMet is staying ahead of the curve with its next generation contactless fare collection. Gain vital insights from Chris Tucker, Director, Revenue Operations at TriMet on the deployment of Hop Fastpass electronic fare system. Learn how it migrated from existing systems, solved security considerations and decreased actual transaction times. Watch this exclusive webinar.