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Evolving Payment Options and Infrastructure

Note from the editor

Since the rise of electronic banking in the 1990s, the private sector has sought out creative ways to digitize payments and make transactions more convenient and seamless. But is the public sector ready to ride the cashless wave?

From paperless billing for city services to mobile optimized tap-and-go fare systems, cities are facing a new world of payment options. Building smart cities around developing payment infrastructure offers a vast benefit to those who live in, visit or commute around the city, though issues are apparent — particularly when seeking to ensure equity for the unbanked and underbanked population. 

In this trendline, we explore the evolution of payment options in cities, the case studies that illustrate how cities can think differently about payments, and the challenges leaders are likely to face as this trend evolves.

Kristin Musulin Senior Editor

Who benefits from cashless bus routes?

Transit agencies say it helps keep their vehicles moving efficiently, but advocates worry the trend will leave low-income riders behind.

Your city can't become 'smart' without proper payment infrastructure

Payment infrastructure is evolving at a rapid pace, yet few global metropolises have truly embraced the speed of innovation — and there needs to be a change in strategy.

Report: Smart cities technology could save citizens 125 hours per year

The decentralized economy is inevitable. Cities now need to prepare for impact

Blockchain will not only impact trade, but will also radically impact governments and the communities they serve.

How 4 cities are exploring new ways to pay for transit

As cities move away from paper tickets to pay fares, many are looking to use mobile apps while also upgrading their reusable plastic cards.