Smart Payments and Finance: Page 9 of 17

Instrumentation and control

Ensure access to robust banking services. Cities in the developed world may take convenient, ubiquitous banking as a given. In other parts of the world, however, it is a significant issue. Access to banking services is the key underlying prerequisite to smart payments. It has various implications, from the need for a network of capable ATMs (automated teller machines) to a sufficient number of bank offices.

City leaders must encourage a widespread, safe banking system. If cash and credit cards are currently the basic form factors, the city should encourage smarter versions such as NFC-enabled cards and mobile phones linked to banking. Electronic payments are also key, as more and more transactions are done remotely. As an illustration, the city of Nice, France massively communicated the benefits of contactless cards. By pioneering that technology, the city created a favorable climate for adoption and the benefits that followed.

  • Implement optimal instrumentation. There are at least two payment areas where cities need to ensure that the right devices are deployed:
  • Acceptance devices. Parking meters, ATMs, utility meters, vending machines and point-of-sale terminals are increasingly used to make payments. Acceptance networks must adapt to emerging payment methods, such as contactless cards and phones, as well as electronic wallets.
  • Payment form factors. Smart payment devices do more than paying. For instance, digital wallets gather all customers’ existing payments cards in a single device and also combine them with rewards and loyalty cards. They also enrich their functionalities with innovative features to facilitate day-to-day life. In Hong Kong and London for instance, the mass transit systems rolled out contactless electronic cards that people can use to pay for transit, but can also use in shops.