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Netherlands enables contactless payments on entire public transport network

All modes of public transport now accept payments using contactless technology after the completion of major project in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has completed the nationwide roll out of contactless payments on its public transport network, enabling all journeys to be paid for using credit and debit cards as well as mobile wallets.

Transport companies in the Netherlands have worked with card giant Mastercard and Dutch public transport system developer Translink to enable contactless payments on all public transport including trams, trains, buses and metros.

Travelers can now complete entire journeys using multiple modes of public transport without having to buy separate tickets or pay using different systems. The OVpay open-loop transport payments system means any payment method can be used to make payments without having to be part of the system itself. Travelers can use their contactless card and mobile to pay for a journey even if they are not affiliated to the transport network.

Open loop payment transport systems 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, according to Mastercard.

Mastercard worked with OVpay service provider Translink and public transport companies to support local banks in implementing mobility transaction processing rules. It also ensured the necessary software updates and components were available.

Jan-Willlem van der Schoot, Mastercard country manager in the Netherlands, said the Netherlands is 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,” he said. “We see that many people faced hurdles when wanting to take public transport. From now on, there is 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 past couple of years. It’s incredible to see how our efforts and those of our partners have made this happen.”

Contactless payments are rapidly becoming the most popular method of paying in-person. The Covid-19 pandemic, during which people were discouraged from making contact with each other and objects, accelerated the use of contactless payments.

The global contactless payment market size crossed $10.3bn in 2020 and is anticipated to reach $17.9bn by the end of 2025, according to research from Markets and Markets.

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