The Netherlands has recently completed the launch of a contactless transit payments system nationwide, simplifying access and allowing travelers to tap-in and tap-out with their debit card, credit card or digital wallet. All public transport across the country - including trains, buses, metros, and trams - now accept OVpay, an open loop system consisting of upgraded infrastructure and innovative software that ensures frictionless journeys throughout the country and secure payments.
Mastercard played an essential role in the launch of OVpay, partnering with the joint public transport companies and Translink to support local banks with implementing mobility transaction processing rules. The company also ensured the necessary software updates and components were installed to move the country-wide innovations forward.
The simplified payments approach enhances navigation for transit users, which includes millions of residents in addition to visitors to the Netherlands. Not only is it possible to pay with a debit and credit card, riders can also pay with a smartphone or smartwatch on which the card is uploaded to a wallet.
With OVpay, tickets or public transport passes are no longer required, with the exception for those who have a subscription. This improved public transit service benefits everyday riders and tourists alike as it increases efficiency, helps to reduce congestion, addresses environmental concerns, and increases livability.
“We’re more than proud that we supported the Netherlands to be the first country in the world to make checking in with a debit and credit card in public transport nationally available. With this implementation, we make public transport more accessible to the wider public,” says Jan-Willlem van der Schoot, Country Manager, The Netherlands. “We see that many people faced hurdles when wanting to take public transport. From now on, no need to separately buy tickets or miss your train because the balance on your public transport card is too low. This has been an amazing team effort. So many people worked very hard on it during the last couple of years. It’s incredible to see how our efforts and those of our partners have made this happen.”
Open loop payment solutions are already accepted in metropolitan areas around the world, including London, New York City, Sydney and Milan, but has never been launched comprehensively nationwide before.