When Your Journey Means More than Just Getting from A to B

May 31, 2018 | By Jason Lane

How did you get to work this morning? Did you notice Mastercard’s helping hand enabling you to get you there?

All around Europe, a growing number of cities are using our digital solutions to make it easier for people like you and me to board a train, hail a ride or find a parking spot.

Making the daily commute seamless is not just about saving people time and hassle – it is about ensuring communities have good access to key networks such as employment and education.

Mastercard is already working with over 100 cities across the globe – applying our global standards, innovative technologies, data insights and strategic partnerships to the challenges cities and citizens face.

Here’s a small sample of current initiatives across Europe:

Public Transport

From our long-running partnership with Transport for London, where contactless is now powering 17 million tap-and-go journeys each week, to one of our most recent collaborations, relaunching mobile ticketing across Rome’s metropolitan transport system: Mastercard is helping cities to get the most out of existing infrastructure.

Earlier this year we launched contactless, open-loop ticketing across Belgrade’s entire transit network, comprising over 6,000 ticketing points. This is the first part of an ambitious project that will also see the launch of a new contactless debit card, combining transportation with payment functionality and discounts at dedicated merchant locations and institutions.

Open-loop acceptance enables a consistent user experience, meaning that whether travelling to work in Belgrade or visiting London with the family – the Mastercard you carry with you is the only ticket you need to access the city.

Private vehicles

For people trying to find the best way of getting from A to B, people simply want to go about their day in the simplest, quickest and most efficient way, making little distinction between public and private transport options.

Where public transportation is not an option, we are working with partners to ensure that your journey is as simple as possible. For example, Mastercard is working with the Hungarian city Szeged to enable contactless payments on parking meters, and we recently announced a new project to supply an app-based parking system across eight Croatian cities.

Mastercard payments have also been enabled in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sarajevo taxi service since January. Similarly, in Serbia, a new partnership with the Car:Go service (a native Serbian app-based taxi hire company) launched on May the 7th with a focus on the card-on-file model. In Belgrade you will find that Mastercard payments are now accepted in most large taxi companies over 2000 of which are in the process of being upgraded to contactless payment devices.

Why make a city smart?

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the role technology can play in creating a thriving urban environment. Harnessing the power of collaboration, the opportunities are limitless.

In cities like Kolin, Czech Republic, the region of Leningrad, Russia and most recently Bratislava, Slovakia we are combining municipal services into one place – providing citizens with a single means of accessing multiple services from transit, school ID, retail loyalty and rewards to healthcare.

Join us next week at Money20/20 Europe (Booth A50) for more updates on how Mastercard is helping cities improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, one journey at a time.

Jason Lane