Contactless Fares

Smart, Safe, Secure.

Touch-free fare payments

As people navigate their way back to work and school, public transportation remains the backbone of their mobility needs. Today, with renewed emphasis on rider safety, transit agencies can help restore riders’ confidence through contactless fare payments. Giving passengers the freedom to limit their exposure to highly frequented touchpoints is key to a safe environment.Touchless fare payments also benefit drivers' safety and help assure revenues from fares are not lost in a time when they matter most. 

Account-based fare system

In an account-based fare system, all data and fare logic are managed in the back-office system where the current balance and associated products are stored. For passengers, touchless payment, real-time account management and fast, easy boarding are the result of a robust account-based fare system. 

Along with smart ticketing, credit / debit card payments are also making headway on public transit.  This form of ticketing, called open payments, allows the passenger to use a contactless credit card or NFC-enabled smartphone with credit card emulation as payment for fares. A simple tap of a mobile phone or credit/debit card to a ticket validator eliminates the need for contact with the driver. 

As the world’s first supplier, INIT has facilitated the integration of virtual transit smart cards - a closed-loop card which is stored securely in a smartphone’s wallet app via Google Pay, Apple Pay and Android Pay.


  • Eliminates additional hurdles like the need to install an app first or buy a smart card.
  • Eliminates barriers to public transit because the rider does not have to figure out which ticket or fare is needed to ride.
  • Eliminates administration costs for the agency’s own media and the complex management of remaining credit balances.


Best price calculation

In terms of service orientation, transit agencies with an account-based system can offer customers best price calculation which ensures passengers always pay the best possible price for their trip. Riders validate by tapping their card each time they enter the vehicle. Once they reach a pre-determined cap, the system automatically ensures that charges will be made only up to this limit – a process known as fare capping.

Multi-client structure

Account-based systems also offer multi-client advantages. For instance, fare changes become effective immediately in all distribution channels, and on all field devices.  This eliminates time-consuming update procedures, particularly within interoperable and intermodal systems, in which changes need to be carried out and coordinated via the systems of multiple participants and technology partners. The participating agencies maintain their corporate independence due to the robust back-office system, and ensure that each client only sees the data that is released for shared use.

Flexible revenue management 

The back-office system plays a crucial role in an account-based system since all transactions from the field devices are checked and processed in real-time. INIT’s back-office system, MOBILEvario defines all fares, products, and checking requirements in its rate management module. The user is free to choose the design of new products or the modification of existing products and can easily define complex fare products through INIT’s unique rule-based approach. At the same time, MOBILEvario constantly updates the offline information on field devices.

Today, more than ever, ticketing must be responsive, flexible and robust. In order to collect revenues safely in a COVID-19 recovering world, transit agencies of all sizes can benefit from contactless, account-based systems from INIT. To learn more, check out our projects below.

For more news, stories and podcasts, follow our blog or listen to our podcasts


INIT Sales team