Littlepay begins rollout of contactless payments in Athens, Greece
Littlepay begins city-wide, multi-modal rollout of contactless payments in Athens, Greece
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Littlepay begins city-wide, multi-modal rollout of contactless payments in Athens, Greece

  • OASA, Transport for Athens is introducing open loop payments across the city’s entire transit network starting with the Athens Airport Express bus line.
  • Littlepay was selected as the payment processing specialist in this multi-modal project aiming to modernise the existing fare collection system.
  • Planeta Informatica’s VSAM technology is being used to quickly and efficiently upgrade legacy ticketing technology to accept contactless payments.  

Transit payments processing specialist, Littlepay, announces today its involvement in the city-wide rollout of contactless payments across all transport modes in Athens, Greece, an initiative led by the local PTO, OASA and achieved in close collaboration with key partners. This new payment solution aims to improve the public transport experience for both locals and tourists travelling in the Athens metropolitan area.

Modernising Athens’ entire transit ticketing network 

Intending to simplify the daily commute and make public transportation more accessible, the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) and its selected suppliers have collaborated to create a fare collection system that addresses the needs of the community in the Athens metropolitan area. In the first phase of the deployment, riders on the bus airport line from Athens International Airport will be able to pay for their €5.50 flat fare using a contactless bank card or a mobile wallet. This will be swiftly followed by a full rollout across the city’s metro, tram, trolleybus and bus services. 

This project has been a collaboration, with Littlepay, Visa, Cybersource and Planeta Informatica, working closely with key stakeholders such as the National Bank of Greece, HST, LG CNS and ASIS to deliver this deployment for OASA. 

Notably this project came to life in an incredibly short timescale. Littlepay’s project was initiated in mid-February and the first rollout is going live to the public just 10 weeks later.

“There were many stakeholders involved in this deployment that had to work together to make OASA’s vision come to life. I am proud of our team and our partners who have pulled together to launch the solution in record time. Hopefully, this will pave the way for many more projects in Greece.”

said Sheryll Ricketts, Solutions Consultancy Lead at Littlepay

“LG CNS closely collaborated with our partners for the successful roll out of the first phase of the implementation. We are confident that citizens and tourists will benefit from the upgraded experience of traveling within Athens Metropolitan area, after the completion of the project at the end of 2024.”  

said Kang Sok Kim, Software Architect of LG CNS

The project is a great example of how a VSAM deployment can breathe new life into older card readers and massively reduce both capital cost and the time to rollout. Planeta’s VSAM is a small modular add-on that slots inside existing validators to “switch on” open loop transit payments. This can be achieved without major changes to the existing validator hardware or software, reducing reliance on the existing terminal supplier. The solution is plug and play; Littlepay and Planeta have a long-standing relationship, having collaborated previously on a similar open-loop project in Peru. The physical rollout is then a simple job of opening the validator and slotting the VSAM chip in. With OASA running nearly 8,000 validators across the city, the cost and time savings are difficult to overstate. 

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