Mastercard is partnering with global investor Meridiam to help upgrade transit systems by introducing smart payments and laying the groundwork for mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), Mastercard said in a press release on Wednesday (Nov. 20).
During the next few months, Mastercard and Meridiam will work to identify key cities that are looking to transform their urban mobility systems.
Through City Possible — Mastercard’s global network for urban co-development — city leaders shared that capital to improve critical infrastructure is one of their biggest concerns.
Mastercard’s City Possible initiative is working to mobilize financing to help upgrade transit systems around the world. It aims to introduce efficiency through technologies such as contactless payments. Mastercard is showcasing the possibilities as a global partner of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona Nov. 19-21.
“Collaboration is the lifeblood of City Possible,” said Miguel Gamiño, executive vice president enterprise partnerships and head of global cities at Mastercard.
He added that “resource-constrained municipalities” can reap benefits by coordinating with the private sector.
Contactless ticketing cuts expenses by at least 30 percent but limited budgets make it hard for agencies to come up with the initial capital. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) said there is at least $232 billion needed for critical public transportation investments in the United States.
Meridiam Chief Executive Officer Thierry Déau said the company will help develop a “sustainable urban transport infrastructure” that brings cities “significant savings.”
Mastercard has helped hundreds of cities like London, Dubai and New York by enabling the cards and digital devices people are already using.
“Modern, resilient infrastructure is critical for anticipated urban growth,” said Sameh Naguib Wahba, global director of the World Bank Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice.
He said at least $4.1 to $4.7 trillion is needed annually for global urban infrastructure. “This figure dwarfs official development assistance,” he said, pointing to the importance of private investments.
Mastercard has expanded its City Possible network to more than 40 members, including more cities in Brazil and one in New Zealand.