Smart cities have recently started stepping out of the imagination and into our reality. The amenities are plentiful: self-driving cars, smart transportation, weather conditions tracking, energy efficiency and smart waste management, smart street lighting, broadband infrastructure. Cities from New York and Paris to Amsterdam and Tokyo are vying for the coveted position of world’s smartest city every year now and the smart city industry is projected to become a $400 billion market by 2020. By mid-2020’s, this industry could be generating 60% of global GDP.
In this world, smart payments systems are also necessary, providing efficient, fast, ubiquitous, and safe transactions. What started with mobile apps is now spreading to smart watches and potentially wearables – pay with your FitBit, so to speak. You can also just give a voice command to Siri or Alexa and then there is the integration of FinTech devices into clothing or jewelry. Digital payment can not only help a business thrive and cut costs but can also gather data that will improve customer service, marketing and loyalty. For governments, it ensures easier tax collection, budget management and crime reduction.
Examples of such efforts include Visa Global Transit Solutions, a worldwide program to foster seamless commuting thorough contactless payments, and Mastercard‘s involvement with over 100 cities to help them provide better access to essential needs, such as transportation, education, employment and financial services for their residents, visitors and small businesses.