City of Besançon launches contactless open loop fare collection system on 200 buses and trams

The French city of Besançon has launched a contactless open loop fare collection system in its Ginko network of over 200 buses and trams. The system has been launched in partnership with Keolis Besançon, Kuba, La Banque Postale and Littlepay, which has provided the payment platform. It’s the first phase of a rollout of contactless open loop fare collection in Besançon, with a second phase planned on suburban lines in September 2022. 

It provides a frictionless, tap-to-ride experience, where passengers tap a contactless payment method onto a Kuba (Vix CP6500) payment reader as they board. Littlepay’s payments platform receives tap data from the KubaPay solution and processes payments, using La Banque Postale for acquiring services. Payments can be made using a Visa, Mastercard or co-branded Carte Bancaires credit or debit card, or a contactless-enabled mobile wallet. 

The solution makes fare payments simpler and boarding faster for Besançon’s public transport users, who make up to 30m trips each year. The City sees this modernisation of ticketing as a vital part of improving passenger experience, so that more people will be encouraged to make sustainable travel choices.

In preparation for the project, Littlepay integrated with La Banque Postale as the acquirer, and added French language localisation to its platform. Littlepay provides modular payments infrastructure specialised for transit payments and works with a range of integrated partners to deliver end-to-end processing. The connection to La Banque Postale allows acquiring reach in France and access to the Carte Bancaires card scheme. 

Littlepay’s certification to process Carte Bancaires card payments is an important step that will be instrumental to further projects in the region later this year. As France’s local card scheme, it is the most widely used payment method, with over 70m cards issued, and offers lower processing costs to merchants.

In addition to open loop payment processing, Littlepay’s Inspect APIs were used by Ginko and Kuba to develop an Inspection app to minimise fare evasion on the deployment. This is installed on NFC-compatible, Android mobile devices to enable staff to carry out fare inspections, checking cards against a list of known taps.