(2nd Edition) The Pros and Cons of Open-Loop Payments - An Online Debate

Virtual | 27 June, 2023



Back by popular demand, APSCA and Mobility Payments are organizing a second edition of their groundbreaking webinar series: The Pros and Cons of Open-Loop Payments – an Online Debate.

For this event, we have recruited another great panel of experts to discuss and dissect this trending technology, which is being adopted by a growing number of transit agencies globally. As before, attendees will get meaningful answers to penetrating questions, not sales pitches and talking points.

Building on the first event in October 2022, we have divided this next debate into three key topic areas–as we drill down for more information and insights that transit authorities, operators, ticketing schemes and private mobility providers can use as they consider rolling out open-loop payments (see below). As before, there will be a lively and wide-ranging discussion with the panelists and much interaction with the audience.

Why Attend

Following are among the statements we’ll be asking panelists to agree or disagree with and to explain why:

Pressing Questions:
Can showcase open-loop projects like Transport for London’s be replicated by other transit agencies, including lowering the cost of fare collection?

Topic No. 1
Concessions: The Achilles Heel of the Open-Loop Proposition?

  • Discounts for seniors, students, disabled persons and other riders can account for 40% or more of total trips for transit agencies. But the open-loop proposition becomes more difficult if the technology can’t support these discounts. Agree or disagree, and why?
  • Despite much talk from suppliers, there are precious few examples of riders tapping open-loop cards or wallets to pay fares while receiving concessions. The technology isn’t ready. Agree or disagree, and why?
  • If customers need to file paperwork and wait several days to prove their eligibility for discounts with open loop, the convenience of paying fares with credit and debit cards is lost. Agree or disagree, and why?

Topic No. 2
The Elephant in the Room: Interchange and Other Bank Card Fees

  • Interchange and bank card fees, which are controlled by third parties, could impose a real cost on transit agencies–one that they cannot control or pass on to their customers. Agree or disagree, and why?
  • The fact that transit agencies serve many lowincome customers, and the preponderance of their fare transactions are low value, payments schemes should offer special interchange rates for agencies. Agree or disagree, and why?
  • Transit agencies that go entirely open loop could find that in addition to costs, the future roadmap of their fare-collection technology is outside of their direct control, and now is determined by payments schemes. Agree or Disagree, and why?

Topic No 3
Going All-in with Open Loop; is it Realistic?

  • Transit agencies also have to serve unbanked and other customers who can’t or won’t use open loop . This means agencies can never get away from supporting closed loop in some form. Agree or disagree, and why?
  • A few open-loop agencies are using white-label EMV technology for their closed-loop cards. But this option comes with its own costs. It’s questionable whether this is a viable option for many agencies. Agree or disagree, and why?

Who Should Attend

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