The Vectalia Group, Citibank and Visa have reached an agreement to develop new technology that will allow public transport in Alicante to be paid by debit or credit card, mobile phone or wearable devices. The first bus lines to use this technology are the Alicante-Elche airport line and the Turibus line. The system is currently undergoing testing and will make Alicante one of the few European cities that uses “EMV contactless” payment technology, according to Vectalia.
During the first phase of the project, the most touristic bus lines in the city will be equipped with the service: the Turibus – a tourist bus that takes tourists around the capital of the Costa Blanca – and the C6 – Aerobus – the line that connects the city with the airport. Over the last years, millions of travelers have chosen Alicante as their travel destination.
The new system, which has the collaboration of the Valencian Autonomous Government and the Alicante City Council, will make it possible to define a flexible payment model adapted to the challenges of mobility in smart cities: it is accessible to all citizens, can be personalized and it establishes payment policies that promote mobility using the numerous means of public transport available in cities (bus, metro, trams, regulated parking). It is worth mentioning that all digital means of payment will be accepted: contactless cards, mobile phones and even wearable devices such as contactless watches and bracelets.
This new contactless bank technology will let the public transport users of Alicante access the bus by simply placing their card, mobile phone or bracelet next to the point-of-sale terminal just as they do with their daily shopping. Once the contactless device is placed next to the reader, the ticket will be automatically purchased, paid and verified without having to purchase a paper ticket.
In this way, future passengers can travel by different modes of transport in an integrated manner and without having to purchase separate tickets. Direct access to public transport with contactless technology will allow tourists, who use international bank cards, to access transport more quickly and without having to carry cash on their trips.
The initiative was born with the aim of attending the demand of citizens and the people who use public transport in Alicante. The goal is to universalize payment by debit or credit card, mobile phone and wearables in an expeditious manner to speed up customer service, making transport more convenient. We expect the system to be ready for use by passengers by summer.