Bus operators in 33 small to mid-tier cities throughout Greece will launch open-loop payments–with the first bus agency to introduce the service next month. The project is believed to be a first for the country.
AMCO is upgrading 2,500 validators it had earlier provided to the 33 bus agencies. The validators already have the hardware they need to accept open loop and just need additional firmware and software.
• National Bank of Greece
Bus operators in 33 small to mid-tier cities throughout Greece will launch open-loop payments–with the first bus agency to introduce the service next month, the main technology supplier on the project told Mobility Payments.
Greece-based AMCO, which provides the validators and back office for the project, said the first bus agency to accept contactless credit and debit cards will be in Larissa, one of Greece’s five largest cities, located about 350 kilometers north of Athens. Other cities to launch this year will be Patras in western Greece and several resort cities, such as Rhodes, Corfu and places in Crete.
AMCO product manager Nikolaos Martzoukos told Mobility Payments that open loop might also be expanded to several intercity bus agencies later. He said the rollout to the 33 bus agencies will be the first open-loop project in the country.
“Though the Greek market is not used to it (open-loop payments), I expect high demand, due also to the fact that most cities have lots of tourists, who I expect prefer the simplicity of this approach,” he told Mobility Payments.
AMCO is upgrading 2,500 validators it had earlier provided to the 33 bus agencies. The validators already have the hardware they need to accept open loop and just need additional firmware and software, said Martzoukos. They will continue to accept closed-loop Mifare cards, as well.
The company’s back-office system will eventually help enable interoperable fare capping among the 33 operators, he said. Payments for other services, such as bike rentals, could follow when account-based ticketing is rolled out to the system, which is possible.
Czech Republic-based payments service provider Monet+ is also involved in the open-loop project with its Switchio processing service, along with the National Bank of Greece and Visa, according to AMCO.
The National Bank of Greece is likely serving as the merchant acquirer. It’s unclear what role Visa is playing, besides being one of the accepted payments brands. The service may involve Visa’s processing and fraud management company Cybersource.
The Greek Ministry of Development and Investment is providing oversight and funding.
Martzoukos also spoke about the project at the recent IT-Trans International Conference and Exhibition.
© Mobility Payments and Forthwrite Media. Mobility Payments content is for individual use and cannot be copied or distributed without the express permission of the publisher.