6:07 am - Sunday August 20, 2017

You board – You Pay

Israeli startup company HopOn has developed a system that automatically detects passengers boarding a transit vehicle and charges them through an application

Ofer Sinai, a co-founder of HopOn. Photo Credit: Anthony Upton

Ofer Sinai, a co-founder of HopOn. Photo Credit: Anthony Upton

Israeli startup company HopOn has developed a system that automatically detects passengers boarding a transit vehicle and charges them through an application. All this is done in a split second. HopOn was one of eight Israeli finalists in Visa’s recent Everywhere Initiative finals held in Copenhagen, in which nearly 200 European companies took part. HopOn competed in the Regional Intercity Challenge category. The companies had to demonstrate how they would use Visa’s APIs in the solutions they are offering in three categories, and the winning groups will even win the opportunity to make use of them.

Public transport users are familiar with the time wasted when a driver has to make change and deal with cash, or even with ticket validation. Ofer Sinai, a co-founder of HopOn explained: “The idea started in 2013 when we realized that a lot of time is being wasted on the ticketing systems, the validation systems, and sometimes on the cash payments being made. According to an analysis we made, about 2-3 minutes get wasted at each stop in Tel Aviv during the rush hour, which can extend the travel time by about half an hour.

We have developed a beacon-based payment method. This is a technology that enables the passenger to pay through his smartphone, something every passenger carries around in his pocket. The system enables multiple passengers to board the transit vehicle at the same time. Since 2015 we have been operating a commercial service in Israel together with the Dan bus company. Dan’s system enables loading the phone with one or more prepaid journeys (for example – a monthly pass). We are soon about to launch a postpaid payment option: the passenger will board the bus freely and his credit account will be debited according to the actual number of journeys the passenger made”.

“Since 2016 we have expanded internationally with customers in Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain. Our investors include many banks, like Bank Hapoalim, Standard Bank of South Africa, and others”.

“The connection with Visa is clear due to the very fact that we are collaborating with the banks, which are Visa customers as card issuers and acquirers. If we can get Visa’s stamp of approval we will be able to increase our capacity to cooperate with banks”.

 

Oded Salomy, General Manager of Visa in Israel, said: HopOn was among 8 Israeli companies that reached the finals and competed for the prizes against another 7 young companies from Europe. The competition was tough but the contestants stood out with their innovative ideas, their advanced technologies and solutions, which will be altering the way people buy and use money”.

Bill Gajda, Visa’s Executive VP for Innovation and Strategic partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “We looked for, and are continuing to look for a broad range of Fintech solutions. In places like Tel Aviv, Berlin and London there are lots of companies working in these fields”.

“Israel is strong in many technologies, nor just in what traditionally is related to security. Israel is emerging as a world leader in biometrics and now a vibrant bitcoin community is also forming there. And even generally speaking there are lots of good Israeli Fintech companies we would like to work with and accelerate their development”.

To contact Visa’s Innovation division in Israel, please click here.

Filed in: Tech & Science

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