It is no secret how one unified payment model for all forms of public transportation could be very beneficial to consumers all over the world. In the United Kingdom, that situation might be about to change in the very near future. Smart ticketing is an interesting concept, and Bitcoin would make the purchasing process a lot smoother for everyone.
The New UK Smart Ticketing System
Rather than having one ticket for bus rides, and another one for train rides, a unified transportation card valid across all transit journeys would go a long way. However, it is not easy to unite all of these industries under one banner, as not all of them are state-owned. In fact, there is no country in the world where one ticketing system grants access to all types of transit journeys.
Even though the Oyster Card is a valuable tool in the United Kingdom – for both residents and foreign visitors – it only grants access to the tube network and limited overground capabilities. But there are so many different ways of transit journeys these days, and not all of them start or end in London.
By rolling out a new smart ticketing system throughout the United Kingdom, consumers will be able to use contactless payments on a pay-as-you-go basis. This means that any single bus trip, train ride, or even combinations of multiple forms of transport can be paid for in a frictionless manner.
It goes without saying that contactless payments for short-distance journeys have never been much of a problem, simply because the ticket prices are rather low. But when it comes to travelling longer distances, prices for public transportation skyrocket. A train ride can cost you more than 50 GBP quite easily, without even travelling that long.
A joint project between the rail industry and the [contactless] card industry will further explore the possibilities between both parties. If all goes to plan, even season tickets should become available for purchase through contactless payments, in the long run, removing the need for passengers to print their own tickets.
Bitcoin Makes A Lot of Sense For Contactless Payments
When it comes to making contactless – or mobile – payments, it is hard to find a solution that works for everyone travelling throughout the United Kingdom. Especially for tourists and foreign visitors, there is no universal payment method that will let them purchase these tickets in a convenient manner. Bitcoin offers a solution in that regard, as it is the only global currency in the world today [without the need for currency exchanges].
If the UK rail operators are planning to explore the possibilities of contactless payments, Bitcoin should not be discounted as a supported payment method. Most of the Bitcoin users have a wallet on their mobile device at all times, and most smartphones have contactless payment capabilities. It only makes sense to unify both of these technological marvels into an ecosystem that lets anyone buy public transportation tickets in the currency they prefer.
What are your thoughts on smart ticketing in general? Should Bitcoin be considered as a potential payment method? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, UK Cards Association, Britain From Above
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