Visa Consulting & Analytics supports launch of OVpay

04 June 2024 2 min. read

In the summer of 2023, OVpay launched in the Netherlands. It is a revolutionary new way to pay for public transportation across the country, and works completely contactless. Visa Consulting & Analytics supported the launch of OVpay, working with Translink, the operator of the payment systems of Dutch public transportation.

The Netherlands has a highly effectively, nation-wide public transport system that around 4 million people use every day to transit to their destinations. Using OVpay, passengers can now simply tap their preferred contactless payment method to pay for their trip.

The OV chip card, a ‘closed-loop’ payment system, has for years been the main way to pay for transit fares. It is a standardized and uniform system used across the country. But since last year, OVpay now also allows passengers to pay using their contactless debit or credit cards.

Visa Consulting & Analytics supports launch of OVpay

This ‘open-loop’ system of paying for fares has the advantage of being more convenient, efficient, and cost-effective. In addition to using a bank-issued payment card, passengers can also use any other contactless method to pay – including smartphones or watches configured to make payments.

Several major cities around the world have adopted a similar open-loop system to fare payment, including Vancouver (Canada), Osaka (Japan) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). These – and around 750 other contactless public transportation projects – were also supported by Visa.

In the Netherlands, Visa maintains a post-launch relationship with Translink, monitoring system adoption, addressing real-world issues, and collaborating on further improvements.

OVpay is expected to become the main way to pay for transport, phasing out the old OV chip card system gradually. The new OVpay system used EMV-based payment technology that leverages the existing bank cards of the public, ensuring convenience and accessibility.

EMV is a widely-used technical standard for payments used around the world. It stands for ‘Europay, Mastercard, and Visa,’ which are the three companies that created the standard.

“In the short period since the nationwide introduction of the OVpay system in June 2023, significant levels of adoption have been observed,” said Bas van Weele, Program Director of OVpay. “The substantial increase in taps on OVpay has led to expectations of rapid development, with the potential of becoming the primary mode of public transport ticketing.”

According to the latest customer satisfaction poll by Translink, passengers appreciate OVpay, giving the technology a score of 8,4 out of 10. “Our goal is customer satisfaction of 9+. This is the only way our payment technology can deliver on its promise.”

Commenting on the project, Jos van de Kerkhof, Country Manager of Visa in the Netherlands, “The introduction of OVpay represents a cutting-edge solution that is expected to experience rapid adoption. OVpay offers significant cost savings for public transport operators and government administrations while providing passengers with an effortless and user-friendly experience.”