The future of contactless as authority to travel


(Rika Raybould) #1

Based on some internal corporate presentations I found on an open web server directory somewhere, I recently found myself on a fun night of research that lead me to the UK Cards Association’s Contactless transit pages.

This afternoon, I was linked this article from the Guardian describing what sounds like a solid idea and backend but with a not so great user experience using optical codes, an app and beacons of questionable reliability. I got thinking that replacing the optical codes and beacons with a contactless payment card that is used on gate readers would be a much better end solution. Effectively model 3 with extra features.

I wanted to start a discussion mostly about how Mondo (either the API platform/app or the company) could potentially add value here. My thoughts on this range from simple links to the website or applications of the transit providers (a link to contactless.tfl.gov.uk for example) to rich integration of journey history in the app (provided by either the ticket providers pushing to Mondo, 3rd parties matching the two up or Mondo themselves pulling data from transport companies).

What does everyone else think?


(George Hynes) #2

@RichardR It seems like a really good idea, of not only simplifying travel, but also making purchases more understandable, as (let’s face it) there’s only so much sense one can make out of lines upon lines of transactions. Another cool (sub-)feature would be it suggesting when there are cheaper alternatives available, eg. you’ve bought 10 singles on the Tube one day, it could say “Next time you should buy a day ticket and save £X.XX” or similar.


(Mike Scott) #3

Your specific example doesn’t work, because TfL themselves will cap your daily Tube spend at the cost of a one-day Travelcard, so you can’t pay for 10 singles on the same day.


(George Hynes) #4

@DrPlokta Oh, I’ve only ever bought a day travelcard or other season pass :smiley: that’s useful information though. Although, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the example still shows what I meant.


(Nick Jackson) #5

One thing that would be frankly pretty awesome is using Mondo to help ‘bridge the gap’ as contactless authority starts to take hold, by maintaining a ‘virtual wallet’ of tickets which can be verified as necessary. So, for example:

  • Tap in at tube/station/tram/bus/etc
  • Mondo spots contactless payment for transit purposes, or is pushed new info by the transit provider.
  • Mondo app gains a ‘my wallet’ or similar section, which contains a virtual “single journey” ticket with details of the tap-in location, expiry time, price paid, identifier etc.
  • On tapping out, the ticket is updated with the final destination, and marked as ‘used’.
  • Making further journeys adds more virtual tickets, until the daily cap is reached, at which point the ‘old’ tickets are removed and replaced with a single “day travelcard”, again with expiry date, price etc.