Realizing City Possible: Why I Have a Passion for People on the Move
What is it that makes a city “smart”? It’s a question constantly being asked by tech, property, transport and utility companies as well as city leaders, who are looking at the best ways to make urban environments cleaner, more accessible and more efficient.
No doubt that same question will come up at this year’s Transport Ticketing Global 2019, which I’ll be attending this week.
First and foremost – in my view – it is the ability to move around a city easily and safely, simply because public transport has a visible impact on people every single day.
What’s more, citizen expectations are rising. From security and speed, to ease and convenience, people want to get to work, school, the match or concert using payment options they already carry in their pockets.
Working with over 150 smart cities across the globe, at Mastercard we know that transportation plays a key role in smart city development. This goes beyond just providing more transit options, it’s about focusing on what people need and how technology can be used to positively impact their lives.
Thanks to Mastercard Transit Solutions and our banking and technology partners, more cities than ever are now giving their residents and visitors the possibility of getting around with the tap of a card or phone. Here’s a couple of examples of how Mastercard is working in partnership to enhance the urban experience:
• Earlier this month, Kaohsiung, Taiwan become the latest city to join the contactless revolution. In just five months, Mastercard’s open loop technology has been integrated into Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation’s (KRTC) payment system – a first for Mastercard in North Asia, bringing a simple, convenient and seamless travel experience in the city.
• Similarly, in Ankara, Turkey residents and visitors of the capital are now able to tap and ride on all modes of public transport. Working with Aktif Bank and E-kent we helped the city achieve its vision of becoming ‘digital first’ for transit payments in Turkey.
• Whilst in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil we’re combining: transit, payments and identity to make the city ‘smarter’ and more inclusive. With 45% of city residents not having access to a bank account we worked with Banco de Brasilia (BRB) to launch The Cartão Cidadão (citizen card). This card enables transportation throughout the city, along with disbursement of wages and social benefits. The multi-functional benefits of the card will provide a life-changing path to financial inclusion for residents across the city.
The power of partnerships is key to making cities smarter. No single organisation can work alone, it requires collaboration between both the public and private sector to deliver real transformation and inclusive growth. This spirit of partnership is the inspiration behind City Possible, an initiative pioneered by Mastercard that brings together cities from all over globe – and facilitates the sharing of best practice.
In this short video, learn how Mastercard is partnering with cities, transport agencies and technology companies to co-create flexible transit solutions to cope with growing urbanization – and is leading the next generation of mobility services.
To discuss how we keep people and cities moving please contact us through the form below.
About the Author
Vice President, Global Transit Strategy, Enterprise Partnerships Mastercard
Matt Blanks is Vice President, Urban Mobility within Mastercard’s Enterprise Partnerships team.
Matt leads a team responsible for driving Mastercard’s global partnerships with technology companies, transit operators and cities that provide consistent, efficient and globally interoperable transit fare payments in every market.
Matt joined Mastercard from Transport for London (TfL), the strategic transportation authority for London, where he sponsored the Future Ticketing Programme and managed key technology and industry partnerships. His accountability spanned the whole of TfL’s ticketing and Oyster system along with various online and phone customer touch-points. Prior to this Matt was in charge of Customer Service Strategy for London Underground, headed up the Oyster (London’s contactless travel card system) and revenue development team and then led the planning for London Underground’s service delivery during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Prior to joining London Underground, Matt held a series of managerial positions at Virgin: Atlantic, Mobile and Trains, having been part of Virgin’s graduate programme.