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Paysafe Group Talks NYC’s Move to Contactless Mobile Payments on Subways

November 14, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Some out there might not keep up with New York City subway moves, but for those who do, an upcoming move will be a real step forward for mobile payments. New York City is planning to ditch the paper Metrocard, reports note, in favor of wide-scale deployment of a contactless mobile payments system. Recently, Paysafe Group’s chief marketing officer Oscar Nieboer offered comment on the measure, and the impact it will have.

By way of background, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) announced the move away from the current Metrocard to a contactless payments system. That’s a move that’s not only expected to help improve service on the line—the New York Post noted that the MTA paid out $1.2 billion in overtime payments alone last year, which represents about 10 percent of its labor spending—but also mirror developments in the wider market. Visa predicts that 100 million of its cards in the US alone will go contactless by next year’s end.

More specifically, Nieboer noted :“…Our research found businesses are preparing for such a shift (to frictionless payments); 40% of US retailers expect to be able to offer fully frictionless systems to their customers within two years, an initiative which could make its way to the UK market as the technology becomes more widely available. As we’ve seen with contactless in the UK, such a system will likely be rolled out in the transport network first before achieving widespread popularity elsewhere….”

Basically, Nieboer and the Post seem to line up reasonably well. The New York subway system could use some help in better managing resources and taking a tax burden off the people of New York, who already see some of the highest taxes in the United States. Sure, some jobs would be lost—a necessary consequence of improved efficiency—but the tax savings would likely get re-routed into other industries, which would in turn need people to help meet the new demand.

There’s a great potential in New York subways, one that can be realized with help from mobile payments systems. It’s good to see New York going that route, and perhaps, it can apply similar principles elsewhere in the system and get some tax money back in the regular New Yorker’s pockets.