The Pros and Cons of Open-Loop Payments: an online debate

Virtual | 05 October, 2022



A growing number of public transit authorities and operators around the world are enabling their customers to tap credit and debit cards to pay fares. And many in the industry are convinced that nearly all agencies will one day support open loop. But not everyone agrees that the costs and loss of control that open payments entail are worth it.

In the first event of its kind, APSCA and Mobility Payments have invited a panel of experts from among transit authorities and operators, technology suppliers and other industry players–some backing open-loop payments and some sceptical of the technology–to debate the key issues involved.

This is a must-attend event for all transit authorities, operators, ticketing schemes and private mobility providers considering launching open-loop payments. This wide-ranging debate will cover the issues and practicalities of rolling out open-loop payments in transit.

The online debate will run for 90 minutes and consist of: opening introductions; free-flowing discussions and Q&A with webinar participants, including the audience; conclusions with takeaways.

  • Opening introductions (15 minutes)
  • Free-flowing discussions and Q&A (60 minutes)
  • Conclusions and takeaways (15 minutes)

This online debate will be considered a PowerPoint-free zone.



Why Attend

The online debate will cover the following:

1. What are the pros and cons of making the move to EMV open-loop payments in transit, compared with solely offering such closed-loop technologies as Mifare, Calypso and FeliCa and even paper and cash?

2. What is the business case for authorities and operators to cover the costs of accepting EMV open-loop payments in transit when most people believe they still need to maintain their existing closed-loop systems?

3. Are the prospects for adoption of open-loop payments by riders overstated if you exclude such showcase cities as London?

4. How do the costs stack up for issuing, accepting and processing EMV payment cards in transit vs. the equivalent costs of proprietary closed-loop AFC systems?

5. Why should transit agencies, in effect, create and manage their own currencies by operating closed-loop card systems? Doesn’t it make more sense for them to focus entirely on the business of transporting the public and leave fare payments to the banks and payments networks?

6. EMV open-loop transit payments may be convenient for some cardholders but how can agencies serve the unbanked and underbanked and offer concessionary fares without resorting to closed-loop cards or even old-style paper tickets?

7. And how can transit agencies that have rolled out open-loop payments ever do away with a second infrastructure of card acceptance for their closed-loop transit cards? Are white-label EMV cards a viable option?

8. Is there enough awareness and transparency of the true costs transit agencies must bear to accept open-loop payments?

9. Surely EMV open-loop payments in transit, combined with PAYG and fare capping, will always offer a simpler and more convenient fare structure and customer proposition than proprietary closed-loop transport cards?

10. Isn't the acceptance of EMV payment cards by transit systems really the only low-cost approach to achieving interoperability for customers to pay fares in other cities and countries?

Who Should Attend

All transit authorities, operators, ticketing schemes and private mobility providers considering launching open-loop payments should join the online debate.