IBA Group Launches Hardware-Free Bankcard Fares in Belarus

September 24, 2020 

IBA Group was the first in the world to launch a new contactless fare collection technology where fare collectors can use smartphones or other mobile devices to accept fares. To pay a fare, a passenger just needs to tap a bankcard to the fare collector’s mobile device. IBA Group implemented the innovative system in cooperation with Visa, BPS-Sberbank, and the Borisov Rayon Executive Committee.

The new payment system went live in Borisov, Minsk Region. The technology is unique, as it does not require special hardware like validators or POS terminals. The new system is based on the tapXphone solution that allows for using a smartphone as a payment terminal to accept smart bankcards.

Passengers can pay fares with a bankcard, phone, smart watch, fitness band or other NFC-enabled device. During the trial period, payment is available only with Visa cards.

The procedure is similar to payments at a cash desk. The passenger taps the card to the fare collector’s smartphone and pays fare with one touch. No additional applications are required. After payment, the fare collector hands over a ticket. The fare is not variable, funds are debited immediately.

Transaction takes place in a split second, after which the indicators on the fare collector’s smartphone light up and a till slip evidencing successful payment appears on the screen. If needed, one can take a photo or send it to any phone number.

Buses on all intracity lines in Borisov switched to contactless payment. The security of transactions is supported by certificates of Visa International Payment System.

“Today we are the first in the world to launch an innovative technology for contactless payments in public transport. With tapXphone, you can quickly and easily implement your usual bank card payment method in transport. In the future, we plan to supplement the technology with the functions of a virtual travel card and a passenger user account”, said Vadim Smotryayev, Director of the IBA Group’s Technical Department.

This technology is convenient not only for passengers, but also for carriers. Thanks to tapXphone, introduction of fare collection using contactless bank cards becomes an easy task to be completed within one day.

The solution in Borisov is the first step towards self-service systems that IBA Group previously deployed in the capital of Belarus. In Minsk, contactless fare payment by bankcards is available on the subway, on trams on route #6, and on commuter trains of the Belarusian Railway.