BARCELONA – Tech multinational Mastercard is working on about 20 projects in Latin America with an eye toward improving mobile urban access in cities in the region.
In an interview granted to EFE at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the head of Mastercard’s business development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Noguera, said that the firm is bringing its payment technology to bear for this challenge.
Noguera, one of the Mastercard executives who participated in the huge tech event, said that the US multinational is already contributing to urban mobile access in the public transportation systems of five Colombian cities.
In Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla, Medellin and Pereira, public transport system users can use their bankcards to pay for their fares via a “contactless” electronic payment method.
Mastercard’s idea is to expand the model, which is based “on the use of cards from the financial sector to access the urban transport system,” to other Latin American cities, although Noguera noted that each transport system has its own peculiarities.
In addition, Noguera said that Mastercard this year will also launch a contactless payment system for transport services in the Brazilian cities of Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and it has signed agreements with three other Latin American cities, although he said he preferred not to mention their names at this time.
With its payment technology, Mastercard emphasizes that it is also contributing to the creation of “smart cities” in Latin America, since this simplifies payment methods and reduces costs for the transport systems.
In addition, Noguera said that the anonymous flow of data generated by users when ordering transport tickets with their bankcards could prove useful in governmental investment decisions benefitting the community.