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.