Article Highlights

Key Takeaway:

The new service is the first nationwide launch of mobile ticketing in the Moovit app in any country. Intel acquired Moovit for nearly US$1 billion earlier this year to help it accelerate development of its Mobileye mobility technology unit.

Key Data:

Moovit bills itself as the world’s largest urban mobility app, with tens of millions of users in more than 3,000 cities globally.

Organizations Mentioned:

Moovit
• Isracard
• HopOn
Masabi
Cubic
Token Transit
• Ferrovial
• ATAF

(This premium article was originally published in December 2020. © Mobility Payments and Forthwrite Media.)

Israel this week (December) launched a nationwide mobile-ticketing system, enabling riders to pay for trips on buses and later on railways, with the charges assessed at the end of each month. 

Among companies offering the service is Moovit, a global multimodal trip-planning service based in Israel and now owned by Intel. Moovit is one of four app providers chosen to deliver the service, which is sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Transportation. The system automatically calculates the best fare for customers at the end of the month, based on the rider’s actual travel combined with any youth, student and senior discounts the rider is entitled to. 

The apps, whose launches were delayed by at least six months because of privacy concerns by government officials, provide a post-paid mobile-ticketing alternative to Israel’s prepaid closed-loop Rav-Kav card.  

The Transportation Ministry is providing one of the mobile-ticketing apps. Besides Moovit, major Israeli credit card issuer Isracard and mobile-ticketing platform HopOn won bids to provide the other apps. 

Both Isracard and HopOn launched new apps for the nationwide service. Moovit has incorporated the service into its existing app, working with Pango, the provider of a popular mobile payments service for parking in Israel. Pango will supply the technology for user accounts and payments clearing for the new service. 

Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s chief growth and marketing officer said the Moovit app has more than 2 million users in Israel. “This is a significantly higher user base than the other apps available for mobile payment for public transportation,” he told Mobility Payments through a spokeswoman. “This means that 2 million users do not need to download a new app and instead continue to use the Moovit app and simply open a mobile-payment account.” 

The other apps also don’t offer broad trip-planning functions, like Moovit, including for such third-party transport modes as bicycles, scooters, ride-hailing and car-pooling, in addition to public transit, noted Meydad. Moovit could later expand the booking and payments functionality in Israel to these smaller mobility providers. It already enables users to book and pay for carpooling, according to Meydad. 

After registering in the app for the new Israeli service, users launch the app when boarding a bus by selecting the “Validate” option. This activates the phone’s camera and users then scan a QR code sticker located near the doors of all public buses in Israel. They then choose a destination station or travel distance and tap to confirm. A validation screen will appear, which users show to the driver or, later for trains, to ticket inspectors upon request. 

The new service is the first nationwide launch of mobile ticketing in the Moovit app in any country. Intel acquired Moovit for nearly US$1 billion earlier this year to help it accelerate development of its Mobileye mobility technology unit. Moovit bills itself as the world’s largest urban mobility app, with tens of millions of users in more than 3,000 cities globally.  

It’s not the first ticketing and payments service Moovit has offered in its app, however. In recent months it has launched others on a citywide or regional basis. This includes mobile ticketing for buses with around 10 small and mid-tier U.S. agencies.

Moovit also supports Spain-based trip-planning platform Wondo, a start-up launched in 2018 by infrastructure company Ferrovial. Wondo’s features were incorporated in the Moovit app in 2019 for payments in Madrid and progressively to other cities in Spain and Portugal. And Moovit provides Florence, Italy, transit operator ATAF with a white-label app, which supports both multimodal trip planning and mobile payments, according to Moovit.

Moovit works with outside companies to provide the ticketing and payments functionality to public transit agencies. For example, in the U.S., Moovit has worked with software-as-a-service ticketing providers Masabi and Token Transit. Moovit also announced an expanded partnership with large systems integrator Cubic Transportation Systems in June that is expected to lead to combining Cubic’s ticketing technology with Moovit’s trip-planning platform, targeted at Cubic’s transit agency clients.   

The payments piece turns the Moovit app into a mobility-as-a-service, or MaaS, platform. MaaS is generally defined by experts as enabling users to plan, book and pay for multimodal transport, including public transit, for door-to-door travel.  

Moovit’s Meydad said he expects that the experience providing nationwide mobile ticketing and payments in Israel will help Moovit launch similar mobile-ticketing services in other countries. 

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