T-CETRA helps its public transit partners and their fare payment providers to transition to a cashless and contactless operation. T-CETRA created an API integration solution for these partners within the VIDAPAY portal to accept cash at its retail locations for mobile and smart card bus passes.
How To Convert Cash Paying Public Transit Riders To A Cashless Solution?
According to the 2017 APTA “Who Rides Public Transportation” report, 60% of bus riders have no bank account (and therefore, no access to a credit card). Transit agencies struggle with balancing the need for a cash option for their low-income riders and competitive demands to move to cashless mobile payment solutions. Lower income families routinely spend a higher percentage of their income on public transit than wealthier families yet are at a much greater risk of being left behind in the cashless digital divide.
In addition, some public transportation systems spend up to 30% of their cash revenue on simply handling the cash, i.e., counting, sorting, outsourcing or maintaining equipment to store and protect the cash. Simply put, they are losing cash because they are handling cash. A shift to a cashless and contactless payment solution makes financial and operational sense for our transit partners, especially during COVID-19, but has historically proven difficult to implement among their hard-to-target, cash-preferred, un/derbanked customer base.
Using T-CETRA’s retail web portal found at locations often within walking distance of their home, riders can now pay cash to load bus pass values to mobile accounts without the need for a debit card and at no extra cost to the rider. Increasing access via T-CETRA’s plentiful retail outlets and offering a cash to cashless mobile solution is an enormous benefit to both riders and the public transit agency, and significantly expands retail presence in neighborhoods previously deemed unreachable.
It also enables our transit partners to migrate cash paying riders to mobile bus pass solutions and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 as the bus fare is scanned from the mobile phone to a bus fare reader, allowing for a contactless riding experience.
Online shopping sales are projected to increase from 1.3 trillion in 2014 to 4.9 trillion in 2021 (Statista, 2019) — a threefold growth over seven years for this sector. As the banked migrate more and more to the online marketplace for their basic and premium shopping needs, the underbanked are essentially denied access to the exact same online products, services, and digital content.
T-CETRA has partnered with industry leaders Amazon and Google to return this access back to cash-preferred online shoppers—those who are unable to use credit cards to make online purchases. This opens a completely new channel for online retailers, increasing their sales, and creating millions of new customers.
T-CETRA enables Google Play to connect with cash-based Android users who are unable to use credit cards to pay for Google Play games and apps. Users are able to safely load funds in real-time onto their Google Play wallet with cash using the VIDAPAY portal.
36% of all online shopping customers report a package stolen after delivery. Together with Amazon, T-CETRA is working to make online shopping more accessible by providing a secure package drop off location in underserved communities. As a bonus for our retail partners, the Amazon Hub Locker increases traffic and provides an opportunity to drive additional sales by better serving their current customers and attracting new ones. For Amazon, T-CETRA was able to help target retail real estate in edge markets and expand Amazon Cash’s retail presence.
Since 2018, T-CETRA has fine-tuned the Amazon Cash program to support the cash-based end user and successfully expanded Amazon’s market share to the cash preferred customer. An Amazon customer only needs to associate a mobile number to their Amazon account and T-CETRA processes the rest. An Amazon Cash account balance, powered by T-CETRA’s secure cash to cashless transaction framework, can be used to shop for millions of physical products and digital content sold on Amazon.com. As an added perk, Amazon Cash customers can join and pay for their Amazon Prime paid subscription program using their Amazon Cash account with either yearly or monthly installments.
The entire process is intuitive, executed in real-time, and carries no fees.
T-CETRA is a trusted technology procurement resource for government agencies and education institutions. We help them provide essential products and services that underserved communities rely upon. T-CETRA accomplishes this through our relationships with Verizon, AT&T, TracFone, Amazon, Google and other enterprise partners. T-CETRA activates 200,000 wireless devices per month and has in-house capabilities to procure, kit, and ship a variety of technology products throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
T-CETRA saw an exacerbated inequity of broadband internet access among rural and underbanked students due to COVID-19 and responded to the challenge. What has been a long-standing issue in Southeast Ohio and other areas was made significantly worse with mandatory remote learning and reliance on data-heavy Zoom instruction. T-CETRA is now an official Ohio Department of Education approved vendor and can provide a variety of technology products and services to schools and school districts throughout Ohio. T-CETRA can offer school districts access to routers to provide students with essential internet access for remote learning at home in addition to tablets, laptops, Chromebooks, hotspots, etc. We do this while providing a superior level of service for delivery and customer service. T-CETRA’s goal in this initiative is to help bridge the digital divide to ensure no student is left behind.
T-CETRA’s business and charitable efforts align when we leverage our technological prowess to further a human need.
T-CETRA, in partnership with GroundWork group, formed NeighborRelief, a revolutionary new crowdfunding platform that allows neighbors to directly pay for the essential needs of their neighbors in several Ohio communities. The NeighborRelief program was co-conceptualized by T-CETRA in order to help nonprofits share stories of neighbors in need of temporary assistance – for rent, utilities, groceries and wireless phone bills. Using T-CETRA’s proprietary solution, NeighborRelief can convert donations into real-time payments to cell phone providers within a safe, secure payment transaction framework.
The NeighborRelief fundraising platform is the first and only 100% transparent donation solution focused specifically on helping nonprofit partners administer and successfully engage donors in financial assistance programs. Through T-CETRA’s API integration, donors helping a neighbor in need receive confirmation that their tax- deductible donation gift was transferred directly to the appropriate cell phone and wireless service provider to avoid service shutoffs. This creates a secure, fast, efficient, payment process while allowing nonprofit staff to spend more time helping neighbors overcome underlying barriers to a better life. This fundraising platform additionally engages a new generation of donors who want an intimate connection to their neighbors and reassurance that their donation is going directly for its intended purpose.
Additionally, the T-CETRA Foundation is a proud sponsor of NeighborRelief to join forces in doing good. We believe in equity, access, compassion and innovation, particularly for those individuals and communities in need.