The MultiPass — named after similar technology seen in the Bruce Willis film The Fifth Element — is a digital card that that stores citizen's data and grants them access to use and pay for any kind of transport.
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While digital wallets and all-in-one credit cards such as the Coin aim to reduce the growing number of cards that consumers have to carry around with them, they often don’t deal with the multiple types of tickets, discounted passes and IDs that come with traveling on public transport. Hoping to change this, the UK government is funding the MultiPass — a digital card that stores citizen’s data and grants them access to use and pay for any kind of transport.
Science fiction fans will already be familiar with the concept — it is named after similar technology seen in the Bruce Willis film The Fifth Element — which enables anyone to make any transport-related payment with the same card. Currently, UK citizens might require a buss pass, London Oyster card, senior or young persons’ railcard, paper train tickets, car parking ticket and air travel passes to get where they’re going. But the Technology Strategy Board, part of the country’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, has now announced GBP 1.1 million funding that will help turn the fictional MultiPass into reality. Being developed by a consortium led by smart payments startup TEDIPAY, the device will cater for bus, rail, boat and even air travelers, and will likely use e-Ink displays to show scannable barcodes as well as feature contactless payment technology for more seamless transactions. The pass will also negate the need for queueing at stations by linking all forms of transport ticketing to one electronic account. The card will automatically work out the lowest possible payment for each journey, much like Oyster cards already do, and will allow staff to easily verify any valid discounts or first class travel access. The MultiPass may also be configured to allow travelers to pay for food items as well.
Set to be piloted in London and Glasgow in 2014, the MultiPass could offer convenience for customers, as well as increased data and reduced costs and queues for transport operators. Could this kind of infrastructure be beneficial for your part of the world?