Transforming Public Transportation with Modern Payment Devices


As consumer demand for convenient and efficient payment methods continues to grow, coupled with the introduction of new technologies and infrastructure, public transport payment devices are evolving to become more diverse and intelligent.

bus payment devices

Trends in Transportation Payment Methods

From 2021 to 2023, the use of contactless payments in public transportation systems worldwide has seen a significant increase, with millions of contactless transactions occurring daily. According to Pymnts, the global use of open-loop EMV cards for ticketing is expected to rise from 24.8 million in 2021 to 136.9 million by 2025. As reported in the 2020 Global Public Transport Report, more than 25% of 500 surveyed cities have already introduced account-based ticketing and contactless payment methods in their public transport systems, and this number continues to grow. Contactless electronic payments offer benefits to both service providers and passengers, becoming a mainstream payment method.

Popular Payment Methods in Transportation

The shift towards contactless payment methods is transforming payment devices for transportation systems. Digital and cashless payment methods are increasingly popular in public transportation:

1. Contactless Technology-Enabled Bank Cards: These are a popular choice as many people already have bank cards with contactless capabilities, making them convenient to use. According to paymentscardmobile, the number of global payment cards reached 14 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow to 17 billion by 2022.

2. Mobile Payment Applications: Many smartphone users prefer using mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay, eliminating the need to carry physical cards. As of 2023, there are 6.92 billion smartphone users worldwide, representing 86.34% of the global population, according to Statista.

3. Transit Cards: While transit cards are a closed-loop solution, they remain popular among operators. However, there is a shift towards open-loop payments, such as in the Netherlands and London. Cities like Hong Kong with the Octopus Card, New York with the MetroCard, and Bishkek with the Tulpar card offer transit cards that work similarly to contactless payments, allowing users to top up and pay for various transportation fees.

4. Mobile Ticketing and QR Codes: Some transportation systems allow passengers to purchase tickets directly via smartphones and display barcodes or QR codes on their screens for scanning when boarding. QR codes are becoming a popular payment method in some countries. Juniper Research estimates that the total number of QR code payment users will exceed 2.2 billion by 2025. To pay, users simply scan a QR code displayed at the transportation system entrance, and the fare is deducted from their mobile wallet.

Overall, the adoption of contactless payment methods helps transport operators streamline operations, improve financial performance, and provide a better experience for passengers.

Mainstream Payment Devices for Transportation

1. Smart POS: Payment and Ticketing Devices

Background: In transportation systems with low levels of smart development, manual ticket sales and printing are required, or secondary ticket verification is needed.

Key Features: Equipped with both scanning and built-in printer functions, supporting NFC bank payments, durable and robust.

Usage: Select ticket type, time, and location in the ticketing system, collect fees, and print paper tickets.

Common Scenarios: Buses, bus terminals, long-distance buses.

Recommendation: The Telpo TPS900 is a new mobile POS terminal, certified with EMV and PCI standards, meeting high financial security standards, and running a high-performance Android system.

2. PDA: Handheld 

Background: With the rise of mobile ticketing, pre-booking seats and tickets online is common.

Key Features: Lightweight handheld device without a built-in printer, high-speed scanner, high-definition readable screen.

Usage: Open the scanning app, scan the barcode on the electronic or paper ticket for quick recognition.

Common Scenarios: Tourist buses, shuttle buses, shared buses.

Recommendation: The Telpo P8L is a pocket-sized PDA with strong scanning capabilities and seamless connectivity for faster and easier electronic verification.

3. Ticket Validators: Fixed Self-Service Verification

Background: Multi-functional ticket validators can adapt to various verification methods, including NFC, QR codes, and open payments.

Common Scenarios: Public transportation systems, subway stations, and event ticketing.

Recommendation: The Telpo T20 electronic ticketing system and the Telpo T10 4G Tap to Pay contactless POS terminal are highly versatile for different environments.

4. Innovative Solutions

Background: The widespread introduction of new payment technologies such as biometric authentication will further enhance the convenience and security of contactless payments in public transportation.

Future Trends: Collaboration between transport operators and payment providers will continue to innovate and provide efficient payment options, ensuring the future growth of contactless payments in public transportation.


The development of payment devices for transportation is continually evolving to meet changing needs, making travel greener and more convenient. In the near future, we may witness further integration of various transportation modes and payment devices, creating a unique multimodal transportation environment. This evolution will enhance the efficiency and convenience of public transportation, benefiting both operators and passengers alike.

Tags: payment device, ticket verification device, contactless payments in public transportation, best payment devices for buses

Telpo Ticket Validator T20 Empowers Intelligent Transportation from Telpo Global