MetroRio launches contactless transit ticketing payments in Brazil

Man using contactless payment on metro

Brazilian transit operator MetroRio, which runs the Rio de Janeiro Metro, has begun the rollout of contactless payments in partnership with Visa, Banco do Brasil, Bradesco and Cielo, becoming the first transit operator in the world to use the new Visa Secure Access Module (SAM) technology as part of the project.

The company’s plans were first revealed in March.

Visa SAM is based on EMV contactless technology and allows public transit turnstiles to accept any card, mobile phone or NFC-enabled device without the need to replace the turnstiles or the terminal hardware.

The solution was developed in partnership with Planeta Informatica, Ingenico Group and Digicon. Cielo, Brazil’s largest card payment processor, was also involved.

It currently only accepts Visa credit cards and will eventually be rolled out across all public transport systems in Brazil, according to the company.

“MetroRio’s goal is to innovate to make the lives of our customers easier,” said MetroRio president Guilherme Ramalho.

“We want to offer convenience and practicality. The acceptance of contactless payment, allowing customers to use their credit or mobile phone to use the system, is another fundamental step in this direction, because it eliminates queues and makes journeys quicker and simpler.”

Visa Brazil president Fernando Teles said: “We believe that the use of contactless payment technology on the metro system is an opportunity to digitise billions of low-value transactions, improving the passenger’s experience and reducing public transport costs.

“We are working with banks, fintechs and retailers to promote the distribution and use of contactless cards in Brazil. Today, in addition to being accepted in MetroRio, the cards and digital wallets – available on the mobile phones of thousands of Brazilians – can already be used in more than three million establishments nationwide.”

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