Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes the coming rollout of a paperless ticket option for public transportation in Paris. In addition, travelers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol are tapping into WeChat Pay’s commerce ecosystem in the Netherlands, and cashless payments reportedly made up half of total expenses during Q1 2019 in Russia.
In France, tourists, as well as occasional riders of the metro network in Paris will be able to buy contactless and reusable cards in what has been described as “its version of London’s Oyster Card” beginning in mid-June, The Local reported. Passengers will be able to buy the card for €2. Valérie Pécresse, head of Ile-de-France’s network, said per the report, “It will work like an e-wallet.” The fare will reportedly stay at €14.90 for 10 trips, or €1.90 for a ticket for a single trip. According to the report, the digital system will let riders top up using a smartphone instead of a ticket machine by September 2019.
And, in the Netherlands, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol travelers are accessing a commerce ecosystem via the WeChat Pay mobile payment platform, TR Business reported. Passengers can tap into the WeChat Official Account, WeChat Pay in store and WeChat Mini Program. The Mini program, for instance, enables the payment and pre-ordering for all sorts of goods from fashion to watches and Dutch souvenirs. Travelers then don’t have to browse and line up for the checkout counter for payments. It was also reported that Schiphol is Europe’s first WeChat Pay Smart Airport and the flagship platform is already in existence at Hokkaido, Japan’s New Chitose Airport.
In Russia, cashless payments comprised almost half — or 49.4 percent — of total expenses during this year’s first quarter and above last year’s result, according to reports. Residents of just under 30 regions reportedly made more cashless payments than they did through cash, with the Karelia, Murmansk Region and Komi serving as “three leaders.” And cashless payments were reportedly growing the fastest in the Belgorod Region’s Stary Oskol, the Sverdlovsk Region’s Verkhnyaya Pyshma and Belgorod. “This indirectly means that these cities are creating cashless infrastructure,” the report noted. When it comes to the country’s 300 most populated cities, “the leader” in cashless payments was Petrozavodsk, and cities in 15 regions made the top 20.