BANGKOK, 31 January 2019: Siam Hop, a smart hop-on-hop-off city sightseeing bus tour operator, is the first hop-on hop-off ventures in Bangkok to accept Visa cards for both online and offline payments.
The sightseeing bus service, managed by Total Biz Connect, has 50 stops along four routes in Bangkok’s tourist districts. It allows travellers to disembark at any of the stops and resume the journey later on a subsequent bus service.
Total Biz Connect president, Jiradej Huayhongthong said: “We are pleased to offer the option of electronic payments for our city sightseeing bus service. Passengers can use their bank-issued Visa cards to purchases tickets online prior to their trips or at HOP stops throughout Bangkok starting this March.”
The collaboration between Visa and Siam Hop could offer an insight into how open-loop digital payments in transportation could be applied to the mass transit system in Thailand, such as Bangkok’s Sky Train, subway system, buses and boats.
An open-loop payment system enables passengers to pay fares using bank-issued payment cards, such as debit or credit revolving around contactless technology offered by all payment networks.
Visa has already launched contactless mass transit in 46 cities, and is working with 66 more, all done in partnership with local operators.
The convenience for commuters is that they do not need to carry additional cards. They can use their contactless bankcard, or mobile device, to get through a fare gate. This will remove the need to queue to buy closed-loop cards.
The study found that transit agencies spend an average of 14.5 cents of every physical dollar collected, compared to only 4.2 cents for every digital dollar.