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TRANSIT TICKETING IN APAC – KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM SINGAPORE

Alex Chen, Business Director APAC & Angaj Bhandari, India & South Asia Country Manager, at FIME

 

Last month, we visited Singapore for Global Mass Transit’s (GMT) annual Transit Ticketing & Fare Collection APAC conference. Rapidly becoming the event in the APAC transit industry’s calendar, this year’s show didn’t disappoint.

Offering invaluable insights from across this diverse region, a few overarching themes stood out about the status of this market, where it’s heading, and the key challenges it faces.

 

The holy grail of ABT?

Migration to an account-based ticketing (ABT) system was a lively discussion point at the event. With a report from GMT last year finding the cost of issuance and maintenance of stored value cards had jumped from 7 to 9 percent in recent years, it’s unsurprising many are considering this upgrade to reduce costs, increase flexibility and futureproof systems.

Schemes are getting serious about transport, too. Visa presented “the holy grail of ABT” at the event, showcasing the opportunities and value in moving from a stored value card system to an account-based approach.

Singapore is one recent successful migration story in the region, with many other operators citing moving to open-loop as a major priority. Take Prasarana Malaysia – they are keen to open the door to ABT as means to achieve interoperability with different fare media and, longer term, adjacent services.

It’s worth noting an EMV-based solution isn’t the only way to create and reap the benefits of an ABT system, though. Indeed, the “holy grail” for many may be a self-designed solution that utilizes open standards, such as CIPURSE™.

 

Go your own way

This neatly leads me to my second point. London was commonly named as the ‘model’ transport system, but operators need to be mindful there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to digital transformation.

Close consideration and guidance in each market are needed to help define what new systems might look like. Operators need to consider several questions: How successful has EMV migration been? What is mobile or contactless adoption like? What are the challenges of your consumers?

The Philippines is one example keen to define their own path. Its Department of Transport presented its plans to create a national and interoperable automated fare collection (AFC) system at the event, completing the project with its own standards and certification program. Expert advice at the start of, and throughout, projects is invaluable – especially for such in-depth projects! Not only does it ensure solutions are most appropriate to the travellers using them, it defines a system that best aligns with budgetary and technical constrains.

 

Spotlight on India

An apt example of a market in need of a unique approach is India. Convergence between payments, transit ticketing and mobility services is creating new technical and business challenges for the country’s traditional urban mobility ecosystem. For many now, the priority is managing the transit-payments balancing act.

With the integration of new technologies including EMV, QR codes, and a new open-loop system, the level of transformation is remarkable. For this level of upgrade, however, third-party validation is vital.

As explained during FIME’s presentation at the show by Angaj Bhandari, India’s Country Manager, an impartial and external review is far more likely to spot technical faults and offer recommendations for improvement, than reviewing systems internally. Moreover, it empowers operators to shift liability and feel confident new systems are of high operational quality.

 

Does MaaS need open standards?

In his role as Marketing Working Group Chair of industry association, OSPT Alliance, Jean-Philippe Wolyniec (Sales & BD Director at FIME) presented the importance of standardization to the new age of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS).

Travellers have now become consumers – and indeed, the “MaaS mindset” is all about user-centric, on-demand and value-added services. To best facilitate the levels of innovation and cross-industry collaboration needed to adapt to this mindset, however, Jean-Philippe argued open systems and greater standardization would be vital.

With the organization and its non-proprietary standard, CIPURSE™, gaining traction globally, it’ll be interesting to monitor adoption across the region.

 

Getting started

It’s a truly exciting time for the transport sector, but knowing where to start digital transformation projects is tough. Experts like FIME, combining payments and transport expertise, can provide invaluable support in defining, designing, deploying and validating quality solutions. Learn more about how we can support your projects here.

 

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ERSTE BANK HUNGARY IMPROVES AND SECURES THE REMOTE BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH ONESPAN MOBILE SECURITY

ONESPAN

Leading Hungarian bank deploys OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to one million customers to make mobile banking convenient while fighting fraud and meeting PSD2 requirements

 

OneSpan™ (NASDAQ: OSPN), the global leader in securing remote banking transactions, today announced that Erste Bank Hungary, a subsidiary of Erste Group Bank AG, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, has integrated OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite into its banking app MobilBank. Erste Bank Hungary selected Mobile Security Suite to enable and protect online and mobile transactions and to comply with PSD2 requirements for authentication and dynamic linking.

The European Payment Council has stated that social engineering attacks continue to increase and remain instrumental in fraud schemes, often in combination with malware.[1] Erste Bank Hungary chose to implement OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to protect against potential social engineering and malware attacks directed at its customers. OneSpan’s technology enables banks to integrate application shielding, biometric authentication and transaction signing.

Erste Bank Hungary added Mobile Security Suite’s Cronto visual transaction signing to replace the bank’s SMS authentication with push authentication for login and transaction signing. This new process improves security and eliminates significant costs related to SMS delivery. OneSpan’s Cronto technology also helps fight social engineering attacks like phishing, while enhancing the customer experience by  enabling transaction signing using a color QR code.

“OneSpan’s proven technology will help us maintain our leading position in the market without compromising on security or the customer experience,” said Erste Bank Head of Digital Services, Akos Andras Molnar. “As part of this roll-out, our customers can also make online purchases using push notification with any retailer connecting to Erste Bank via the 3-D Secure protocol.”

“Criminal hackers continue to target banking customers as social engineering remains a preferred technique,” said OneSpan CEO, Scott Clements. “In their search for security solutions, banks need to consider cost, convenience and regulatory compliance. OneSpan’s technologies address these concerns so that banks can focus on providing a secure and convenient customer experience.”

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HOW WILL LENDERS TREAT THE FINANCIAL SYMPTOMS OF COVID19?

FINANCIAL

COULD the coronavirus pandemic spark a financial crisis similar to that which was seen in 2008? Tim Kirby, Group Commercial Director of the global fintech Monevo, a personal lending marketplace and platform, discusses how Covid-19 could play out for lenders.

The 2008 financial crisis, explains Kirby, was about credit over-exposure. While strains are apparent in the money markets today, it is not 2008, when risky mortgage investments in the US banking sector and into the UK caused everything to collapse.

Kirby said: “The financial crash was self-inflicted for many reasons, including poor income verification, poor credit quality assessment and poor employment verification (self-certification). It was asset-backed predominantly as it was led by sub-prime mortgage lending.

“My thoughts are that once the virus is contained, the economy will most likely turn back on within a few months, however recovery to current levels will be somewhat longer.”

Kirby predicts that it is very possible this downturn will be shorter than the 2008 financial crisis based on a number of factors.

He said: “The financial crash was either at a house purchase level or encouraging debt consolidation through re-mortgaging that placed unsecured debt into secured debt over a longer term. The consumer then ramped up unsecured debt again with the same poor assessment applied and eventually ran out of headroom.

“This was propped up by the capital markets and warehouse funding lines being supported through securitisation models that rated the loans held in the bonds as AAA.”

Kirby adds that the coronavirus outbreak is more micro and consumer-led than the recession was.

“There is still a great deal of uncertainty, but consumers are certainly going to experience affordability difficulties in the short-term, perhaps three to six months,” Kirby explains. “Lenders are already tightening their criteria and that could lead to more tactical initiatives being introduced.”

Kirby points to the potential introduction of black-listing certain occupation types most affected, and reducing opening balances to applicants that they are most prepared to lend to.

He said: “At Monevo, we have been speaking to lenders who are predicting a 50% slow down, with some pausing to assess short-term strategies, as clearly there are aspects of credit / risk scorecards that aren’t working at the moment.”

Kirby also adds that access to capital markets will be a challenge in the short term: “Lenders who don’t lend off balance sheet may become constrained and you would have to question the Peer-to-Peer lender impact as the returns and appetite of investors could be under threat.”

“Additionally, those lenders nervous about funding certain cohorts of consumers, now have those very same consumers currently in their loan books.

“So, for lenders, focussing on forbearance and other support activity to protect these consumers in the short term of 3-6 months, will be a priority.

Kirby takes the view that it is important lenders relieve some repayment pressure from consumers in the short term, so they can rehabilitate when the new normal arrives.

“Lender feedback in the last week is that they haven’t seen a massive increase in defaults, it’s very early days though. Anecdotal feedback from lenders that are strong and well-funded is that they expect strong growth when the market returns, and that those who are optimised and agile will see an upswing.

“What I am hearing, is that consumers will remedially seek liquidity through debt, as the world normalises to address the short-term pain being experienced at present.”

Kirby adds that lenders who look at credit risk closely when the upturn comes in three to six months could see dramatic growth, albeit from a reduced base.

He added: “From Monevo’s perspective, day trading is difficult to predict and lenders are re-assessing short-term strategies.  We are using the time at present to apply additional focus on our internal tech pipeline in driving the product development roadmap forward to continue to deliver great solutions for our partners.

“We want to ensure when normality returns and the upswing in both demand and supply inevitably happens, that we are supporting our origination partners and the lenders on our panel as effectively as possible.”

 

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