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

Chicago’s route to a cardless transit payment system, $500m!

Source: Digitday.com

In 2013, it launched the Ventra card, a digital account-based contactless card for subways and buses. Customers could tap a Ventra card to pay for purchases and use it as a debit card.

In November 2015, the city launched the Ventra app, which allowed riders to buy passes or add credit for bus or subway rides, and purchase mobile tickets for commuter rail. Single-fare trips can currently be paid for through mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, and customers may also use contactless credit and debit cards of their own.

While the Ventra card value can be added from within the app, the physical card is still currently needed to access transit. The city is now working on a virtual Ventra card that would operate within an NFC-capable smartphone — a shift that would allow transit riders to tap their phones before getting on trains and buses.

The commuter of the future will hold out a smartphone to get on a train or bus without worrying about losing a transit card or lining up to reload.

You can get the big systems integrators interested in Chicago, but they may not be interested in a smaller city — it wouldn’t be commercially viable for them.

Key Stats of Ventra

as of June 2018

  • Over 1 billion transactions processed on Ventra
  • Over 5 million active Ventra accounts
  • 6.7 million Ventra cards issued  
  • App sales at 22% of all Ventra sales, including Metra
  • $76 million; 3.2 million transactions in Ventra mobile app sales


The Chicago Transit Authority faced a dilemma with its 20-year-old fare payment system. Not only did obsolescence issues make it difficult and costly to maintain. The city is planning to move toward an account-based open payment system in addition to a mobile-based system.

Why the authority wants to invest a large amount of money and to giveaway the profitable and growing fare collection business to Visa, Master Card, Apple Pay,…?

Why not spend the money to develop its own account-based payment, mobile-based payment or to develop the most profitable local vertical market like retail, event ticketing for Chicago city?

The latest mobile technology for automatic fare collection can be the answer for Chicago, to learn more please visit mobileafc.net

Most AFC system suppliers don’t understand off-line technologies

What they are really supplying is merely a sophisticated and expensive online system with integration of the following features:

  • Terminal devices with network 3G/4G capability
  • Key security with security access module (SAM)
  • Smart Card with high security and durability
  • Fully integrated system with backup facilities
  • Interoperability with different card system
  • High availability server system
  • Sophisticated clearing center
  • Sophisticated reporting

They simply assume that network is always available and terminal devices will always able to send data back to the server.

No system suppliers mention how to handle transaction record lost due to terminal device failure.

Transaction between card and terminal is done in real time, but the transaction record is sent to server in a delay manner.

There is a chance of losing record due to device failure even in a fraction of a second.

iBonus ® AFC system assumes network is NOT always available

Our server manages the sequence of delayed transaction records and can fill the holes.

Our server handles the security of the card by monitoring abnormality.

It is a true off-line based system and is cost effective.

Our systems used by US Army and UN World Food Program survived even in the harsh environment in countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq where network or Internet is not always available.