IBA Group Launches Contactless Fare Collection System on Azerbaijan Trains

June 7, 2021 

Following the successful implementation of the IBA Automated Fare Collection System (IBA AFC) in Eastern Europe, IBA Group implemented its payment solution in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. IBA Group launched the project in cooperation with Visa, Azerbaijan Railways, the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, and the International Bank of Azerbaijan.

Railway commuters in Baku have now the opportunity to pay for travel using bankcards. Contactless payments became available to passengers traveling through the stations of the Absheron Ring Railway, one of the busiest rail routes in the country. Currently, 14 stations of the Baku ring railway have turnstiles equipped with validators developed by IBA Group.

The fare depends on the distance of the trip. Its cost is calculated based on the number of stations that the passenger travels. This is one of the most complicated fare scenarios. The system keeps track of the stop where passengers boarded a train and the one where they left.

Thus, passengers can pay for a trip quickly, conveniently, and safely.

Vadim SmotryaevProduct Owner at IBA Group

The launch of contactless payments is an important step towards meeting world standards of railway transport. Now railway commuters can enjoy the ease of contactless payments by tapping a bankcard or an NFC device at a validator.

For transport operators, contactless payments optimize passenger transportation and check-in processes, and reduce associated costs.

The important infrastructure project that makes it easier for passengers to pay for travel in public transport was initiated and implemented with the support of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.

Cristina DorosVisa Regional Manager for the Caucasus region
Farid OsmanovExecutive Director of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan
Elmir HabibullayevDeputy Chairman of the Board of the International Bank of Azerbaijan

Today, with passenger traffic starting to grow but still not reaching pre-pandemic levels, cities and transport operators around the world are striving to provide safe, reliable, and efficient transport services. Globally, the use of contactless payments in transport has grown by 187%, and Visa is working to introduce and expand these services in more than 500 cities around the world. We are proud that Azerbaijan is among the countries that understand the importance of developing contactless payments in transport and we are confident that this important project will bring contactless payments in the country to a new level.

For the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, the main strategic goal of digitalization of payment services is the global transformation of the cashless economy in Azerbaijan through creating simpler, faster, and consumer-friendly payment solutions. Today we are opening a new stage in the development of the country’s transport system in the hope that this trend will cover the entire transport ecosystem of the country.

The introduction of contactless payments using bankcards at all passenger stations of the Azerbaijan Railways located on the Absheron Peninsula is another success that has become possible thanks to advanced technologies. We are confident that contactless payments will provide convenience for passengers and significantly save travel time.

The project is a continuation of a series of projects implemented by IBA Group for transport operators. In June 2019, contactless payments using bankcards went live on city line trains of the Eastern European Railway. In February 2021, IBA Group automated ticketing and dispatching in public transport in one of the cities of Kazakhstan. In April this year, the company implemented its tapXphone solution in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova.

Read to learn more about the IBA Group’s transport & logistics solutions and the company’s partnership with VISA on Smart Solutions.

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