TAP Card should go after the high-profit retail market in Los Angeles.

TAP is one of the largest smart card systems in the United States, with an average of 24 million transactions processed every month, serving 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines.  

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to expand the network of retail locations at which customers can purchase and reload TAP cards. TAP riders can currently buy and reload TAP cards at more than 450 retail locations across Los Angeles County; it will expand that total to more than 2,000 stores in 2020. Source: PaymentsJournal

As an incentive to install the card readers, a store receives 3.75% of each transaction as commission. Source: Dailynews.

Average credit card processing fees range from 1.5% to 2.9% for swiped credit cards. Source: Creditdonkey.com.

Therefore, a 3.75% transaction fee for top-up is a rip-off.

Potential High-Profit Income from Retail Market

TAP Card with a big user base can be a good cashless payment for convenience stores, fast food restaurants or retail stores. It has a competitive advantage over Visa or Master card that people carry it every day and there is no penalty for late payment.

If TAP Card can be a spin-off, operated independently of LA Metro, it can charge the LA Metro 1.5% transaction fee like a credit card. If the credit card company can make a good profit with 1.5%, so does TAP Card.

The 24 million transactions monthly with an average of $1.75 will give TAP Card monthly income of $63 million.

On top of transportation income, TAP Card can go after the high transaction amount retail market in Los Angeles. Taking a small piece of the pie from Visa and Mastercard will be a big number.


With the big customer base like TAP card and also latest mobile payment technology, TAP card can be easily established itself as the local cashless payment icon in Los Angeles.

Not only it saves the taxpayers’ big money to invest further on new account-based open payment for LA Metro, but it will also bring attractive income to the city of Los Angeles.

Learn more about the latest mobile payment technology for public transit and retail, please visit mobileafc.net

Los Angeles fare collection upgrade mobile app and account-based

Los Angeles fare collection upgrade mobile app and account-based

LA Metro has been very creative and aggressive. After a couple of years in development, Los Angeles Metro’s new TAP wristbands are now available for transit riders, agency officials announced Monday. A limited number of them, dubbed TAP Flex, are being sold.

Furthermore, a $22m contract to upgrade its automatic fare collection system.

The TAP smart card, used across 25 regional transport agencies in the area, will be upgraded over the next 18 months. In addition to a mobile app, Cubic is to develop a cloud-based account. Branded TAPforce, this would enable no only smart card top-up, but also payment for other services being developed by Metro, such as bicycle sharing and parking.

In the longer term, the aim is to introduce mobile ticketing for NFC-enabled devices.


LA Metro is heading the right way to offer more services for the vertical market rather than investing in account-based ticketing and giveaway the business to Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay,..

Moving to mobile ticketing will give ultimate convenience for the public as there aren’t people with no smartphones today.

Learn more about the latest mobile payment technology for public transit, please visit mobileafc.net

SF Bay Area’s MTC to deliver next-generation fare payment technology and operational services to the Clipper

Source from finextra.com

Clipper currently links 22 regional transit operators and facilitates more than 825,000 journeys per weekday across bus, rail, subway and ferry services, operated by Cubic since 2009

Last year, a $349 million contract promised to deliver a range of new features.

The new system will be rolled out in phases over a five-year period transitioning into a ten-year full operations term commencing in 2022.

Mobile App-based

An integrated mobile app that will enable customers to access real-time information, reload their accounts, plan trips and tap their phones as virtual Clipper cards through fare gates and on buses in much the same way.

The major benefit will be user-friendly and a one-stop service from the mobile App.


Online fare purchases will be made immediately available for use and an account-based architecture coupled with an open API portal will facilitate creative partnerships and systems extensions.

The benefit will open up more applications for the convenience or benefit to the passengers or users.

The drawback is that the taxpayer will have to absorb the initial huge investment and also giveaway the local profitable business to Visa, Mastercard, Apple pay,…


The plan has not clearly stated that mobile communication technologies to be used. Will it be still using existing NFC and maybe QR code-based technologies?

This is a critical step toward a truly smart city in which people don’t have to carry any more cards.

The author has 18 years of experience in the related industry. To learn more about the new technology of mobile payment for automated fare collection, please visit mobileafc.net