Contactless technology has been around for years – yet it is now that we can fully appreciate how much it can help us thrive. As the world struggles to come to terms with the fact that life won’t ever be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic, we turn our eyes towards this simple solution that can help reduce the spread of virus and bacteria in many of our everyday routines.
While the novel coronavirus certainly acted as a catalyst for the need to implement contactless payment and ticketing solutions, this is actually a need that has been with society since the advent of money. There is no other item in our lives that passes ownership so frequently. It’s an everyday exchange we rarely take note of, and yet – it can be a dangerous one under the right conditions. Money is probably the dirtiest thing you carry around with you.
Money – how dirty is it really?
Researchers have found that banknotes are the ideal carriers for thousands of pathogens – from E. coli and Salmonella to live flu viruses (up to seventeen days!). This is why Chinese banks are currently keeping money for up to two weeks before releasing them again to the public, and why many countries are considering the use of UV light to disinfect their bills to help curb the coronavirus spread.
Money and public transit is not a good combo if you want to stay clean and avoid disease transmission. Millions of people, many of whom with questionable hygiene, pass through the public transit system each day, carrying their own unique set of bugs on their hands and money. They all need to buy or validate a ticket, right? When you combine that with poor sanitation practices at stations and in vehicles, you end up with a real incubator for all sorts of bacteria and viruses.
Many countries have upped their sanitation standards during the pandemic, but let’s be real – this will never be enough. Apart from the fact that disinfection takes time and requires expensive resources, you can’t expect all people to wash their hands religiously before and after a ride. It’s just not possible in many situations! Apart from riders, drivers are another vulnerable group you need to protect to keep the service running. Some agencies have resorted to installing shields, some have altogether banned the sale of tickets onboard and require boarding from the rear doors to help protect their drivers. But this is not a viable option in the long run.
So, what can you do to help reduce the transmission onboard the public transit vehicles?
Introducing contactless mobile ticketing is one of the best things you can do to help protect both riders and drivers. By eliminating the need to buy a paper ticket and then validate it, you can effectively reduce the transmission of viruses and bacteria on public transit systems. What makes contactless mobile ticketing such a great option is that people are already heavily using their smartphones on their daily commute so it’s a no-brainer to ask them to use an app instead of a ticket.
Within the mobile ticketing app, riders will have the opportunity to connect to a payment option of their choice, select the best fare for their trip, view and navigate the city’s transit system to create the best route possible. So it’s not only a more hygienic solution, it’s also a simpler and more useful option to create a seamless experience for passengers.
The era of bacteria-laden money and tickets is coming to an end. With technology such contactless payments and fare collection already in use, it’s a matter of time before people adopt them on a global scale. Your city can be a part of the movement to lead the contactless revolution – with the help of Modeshift. Contact us now so we can talk about your city going contactless.
The account-based architecture of the solution is allowing us to integrate with multiple modes of transportation into a straight-forward passenger experience.Yordan Nikolov, Deputy Mayor