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Moscow, Dubai ramp up biometric payments in public transportation

Moscow, Dubai ramp up biometric payments in public transportation

A new touchless biometric fare payment service is set to be trialed by the Moscow Metro with new equipment for the system already installed at turnstiles in a number of stations.

According to an announcement, the first stage of the trial for the new service will begin in the first quarter of this year with employees of the Metro Transport Complex, and later passengers.

Ahead of the pilot, Metro officials say equipment is already in place at the turnstiles of Nakhabino, Zelenograd-Kryukovo, Likhobory and Three Stations Square stations.

Speaking about the development, Maksim Liksutov, deputy mayor of Moscow for Transport, says the deployment of the biometric fare payment system by Moscow Metro is part of a move by authorities to make the travel experience seamless and secure for metro users. The deputy mayor says they will continue to introduce biometric fare payment for different transport systems within the Moscow Metropolis.

The new service can be accessed by users of the Moscow Metro app on Google Play or the Apple App Store, and the announcement adds that it is already available at all metro stations, Moscow Central Circle (MCC), Aeroexpress (airport rail link) and for regular river transport.

Last year, Moscow Metro introduced the fare payment app, which requires passengers to link their biometrics to the Moscow Residential Social Card used by about five million Moscow residents.

Approximately 150,000 people are said to make trips with Moscow Transport every week using contactless biometric payments, and over 80 million people in the last two years of its operations.

Dubai transport system to introduce digital ticketing

In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) seeks to transform its card-based ticketing system (nol-card) into a digital service using face biometrics.

This follows the award of a contract worth 350 million Emirati Dirham (US$95 million) for setting up digital public infrastructure to enhance payments within the city’s transport system, Edge Middle East reports.

Last October, the RTA showcased a face-biometrics payment system for public transportation during a tech exhibition event for startups.

Mattar Al Tayer, RTA director-general and chairman of the Executive Board of Directors, says the investment is in line with the RTA’s seven-year Digital Strategy Roadmap (2023-2030), as well as the cashless Dubai initiative.

The official explains that the payment system, which will be based on a digital wallet, will optimize the use of data and ease integration of public transport systems with private sector payment services.

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