Central Ohio Transit Authority Partners With T-CETRA In New Digital Fare Payment System

T-CETRA’S VIDAPAY Distribution Network Increases COTA Retail Access In Underserved Neighborhoods

DUBLIN, OH (November 5, 2021)– T-CETRA, a leading financial technology solutions provider, has announced a partnership with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) as it launches its new digital fare payment system designed to make purchasing fares easier, to ensure customers pay the best price, and to increase equity and accessibility for all.

One of the goals of the new digital fare payment system is to reduce barriers to transit access and to increase retail options for purchasing and adding funds. Using T-CETRA’s proprietary VIDAPAY retail portal, COTA riders can now pay cash to load bus pass values to their transit accounts. The hundreds of VIDAPAY locations throughout the Columbus region will help attain this goal as its retail distribution network is usually located within walking distance to riders’ homes, traditionally in underserved neighborhoods.

Additionally, in an ongoing effort to ensure rate equity, VIDAPAY’s cash to cashless transaction framework method incurs no fees to the rider – an important distinction from pre-paid debit card payments which often charge monthly and transactional fees to the user.

Abdul Akel, Co-Founder of T-CETRA, says “We found a great overlap in terms of customer base between VIDAYPAY’s end consumer and COTA ridership. Our VIDAPAY retail distribution network is located exactly where COTA riders live, work and play. It’s a win-win scenario when we can open up public transit payment options for the cash-preferred as well as enhance COTA’s accessibility in underserved neighborhoods.”

Funds via cash can now be added to the Transit app or COTA Smartcard at more than 350 total retail locations throughout Columbus and Franklin County neighborhoods, up from just a few dozen citywide locations prior to the launch.


T-CETRA is a leading financial technology enabler that converts cash payments into secure, auditable, cashless transactions at over 10,000 retail locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that primarily serve cash preferred customers. Our payment solutions bridge the digital divide for these underserved communities and are used by Fortune 500 companies within the wireless, online marketplace, subscription based premium service, transportation, healthcare, charitable, and government sectors, connecting them to the 84.8 million un/derbanked individuals in the U.S. For more information about T-CETRA, visit

Media Contact: Heidi Ames, Communications Manager


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