Today we talked about the Octopus card system in Hong Kong and this reminds me of the Easycard in Taiwan.
Easycard has been launched in 2002 and its applications are still expanding. In Taiwan, people can use easycard for various transportations such as metro, ferry, railway, taxi and high-speed railway. Moreover, Easycard began accepting payments for small transactions in 2010; a approximate total of 90 million transactions have been processed. These small transaction payments range from parking, bike rental, entrance fee to zoo to even city hospital.
Recent years, the Easycard corporation has worked together with several financial companies and banks to launch credit cards with Easycard functions ( Co-branded Easycard credit cards.) This allows consumers to pay fees easily and at the same time accumulate bonus. As for educational aspect, some schools combine student ID cards with Easycard functions, benefiting students in terms of student discount.
Nowadays, Easycard has been embedded to mobile chips, enabling transactions by phone. For example, HTC TATTOO became the first Android cell phone with Easycard functions. What’s more interesting, as mentioned in the class, Easycard functions are not limited to the card form but different ones like watches, rings and bracelets. The same idea happened to London Oyster cards.
Having used Easycard for many years in Taiwan, I find the best thing of it is the integration with the biggest chain convenience stores, 7-11. People can buy groceries; pay bills as well as various fees and purchase movie tickets through Easycard in the stores. You can finish almost every small transactions with a card in hand! This gradually forms a small ecosystem of Easycard in my country and truly bring many positive impacts on our lives.
To sum up, Octopus card had revolutionized the payment way of transportation, from traditional papers form to smart cards. So far, many countries have followed this trend and even surpassed it. To answer the question that Professor addressed today-if the Netherlands can optimize the smart card mechanism nationwide -I think it will be much harder due to cultural and geographical factors. Dutch people are used to riding bikes; the demand for taking public transportation is comparably low. In addition, the routes and stations are more separated, scattered than Hong Kong and Taiwan. That is riding bikes has more mobility than taking public transportation.
Since I am an exchange student and only been here for two weeks, I may not fully understand the Dutch lifestyle and thoughts.What do you think of the potential of Dutch transportation in terms of smart card?
Share your thoughts with us!