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Mastercard and LMKR Board Pakistan’s Journey to Digital With Open-Loop Travel Fare System

A partnership between Mastercard and LMK Resources (LMKR) Pakistan will launch the first open-loop transit payment solution across the country’s transport system, enabling commuters to buy tickets with their credit and debit cards or digital wallets.

Mastercard and LMKR have formalised a strategic partnership to oversee the implementation of an open-loop transit payment solution in a bid to further accelerate Pakistan’s digital transformation.

The country’s complete transit infrastructure, including rapid transit bus networks and e-tolling systems, is set to benefit from the introduction of this new paytech solution.

Commuters will be able to top up and pay for transit fares through their debit and credit cards or digital wallets; with no need to buy separate tickets for travel.

The solution will act as a crucial enabler of socio-economic development in Pakistan through the provision of a more accessible public transport system.

Historically, Pakistan’s transport providers have relied solely on cash or closed-loop payments to process transport fares, such as fare cards, which hold only a prepaid amount that must be replenished when it runs out.

The switch to open-loop payments would connect transport providers to existing accounts and faster payment solutions such as digital wallets, and credit and debit cards, making fare costs easier to process.

Atif Rais Khan, CEO and chairman of LMKR
Atif Rais Khan, CEO and chairman, LMKR

“Open-loop systems make universal payments a reality and bring us one step closer to a unified digital ecosystem,” explains Atif Rais Khan, CEO and chairman of LMKR. “It’s a milestone moment in Pakistan’s digitisation journey.”

“As travellers increasingly turn to smart devices and electronic payments in their everyday lives, they are looking to transport operators to meet their digital demands,” adds J.K. Khalil, cluster general manager, MENA East at Mastercard.

Mastercard’s New Payments Index 2022 recently found that 89 per cent of people in Pakistan have used at least one emerging payment method in the last year, while 12 per cent of consumers indicated they used less cash during this period.

The Index further shows that 68 per cent of users in Pakistan increased their use of digital payments in the last year.

“Using Mastercard’s innovative technology, our strategic partnership with LMKR will transform the commuter experience for people in Pakistan, providing swift, seamless, and secure payment experiences on their journeys,” continues Khalil.We are delighted to play our role in further accelerating the growth of Pakistan’s booming digital economy.”

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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