Interview: PayCraft CEO Ambarish Parekh on Streamlining Open Loop Transit Payments

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Interview: PayCraft CEO Ambarish Parekh on Streamlining Open Loop Transit Payments

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Speaking to TechGraph, PayCraft CEO Ambarish Parekh delves into the company’s secure tokenization and innovative interoperable open-loop payment solutions and how its approach to a seamless travel experience for travelers.

Read the full interview:

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TechGraph: How does PayCraft Solutions’ open loop contactless payment system specifically cater to the needs of travelers and what advantages does it offer over traditional payment methods in the travel industry?

Ambarish Parekh: Paycraft’s contactless payment system serves both card-based (NCMC-National Common Mobility Card) and account-based open tickets. Cards for both systems can be used in the transit industry and for POS, ATM or e-commerce transactions. Unlike in the past, when the card was issued by a specific transit operator, it was only valid within that operator’s network. As a result, travelers experience the inconvenience of carrying multiple closed-loop cards for their travel needs.

The following are additional benefits for the user:

Eliminate the procedures required to use public transport to save time; this can save minutes. Increase accessibility by integrating a system that allows travelers to get around the country easily. Increase ridership by making public transportation more accessible to all than other options. By accepting digital payments instead of cash and physical paper, you can protect the environment. Cost savings thanks to digital tickets and QR technology in transportation. Reduce operational constraints caused by retail networks, ticket machines and currency management.

TechGraph: In terms of security and user experience, what measures has PayCraft Solutions implemented to ensure the safety of transactions and provide a seamless payment experience for travelers using their contactless payment services?

Ambarish Parekh: PayCraft is a CMMI Level III organization and PayCraft’s systems are PA-DSS and PCI-DSS certified, which are globally accepted standards for open loop payments. Card numbers are replaced by tokens through Paycraft’s tokenization solution and therefore the real card number does not pass through the system, instead an encrypted token number passes, enabling transaction safety for travelers. The card issuance process is simple and hassle-free, which drastically reduces card issuance times.

TechGraph: Can you talk more about the interoperability of the PayCraft Solutions contactless payment system with different transport networks and payment infrastructures? How does this benefit commuters who frequently travel between cities?

Ambarish Parekh: PayCraft systems facilitate interoperability between multiple modes of transportation. Cards issued by PayCraft systems can be used anywhere NCMC open loop cards are accepted in transit.

In addition, Paycraft’s acquisition ecosystem is fully interoperable, meaning any open NCMC card issued by another bank can be accepted by Paycraft’s acquisition system. In addition, Paycraft branded cards are accepted at all outlets.

TechGraph: With the rise of digital wallets and mobile payment solutions, how does PayCraft Solutions differentiate its contactless payment services for travelers on the open platform? What unique features or partnerships set them apart from competitors in the market?

Ambarish Parekh: Paycraft has a locally designed and developed mobile app that can be easily extended and integrated with third-party wallets and payment apps so commenters can buy QR tickers on the go without standing in line. This is a step towards PM Modi’s cashless travel initiative.

TechGraph: How does PayCraft Solutions address the potential challenges related to network connectivity and infrastructure limitations that travelers may encounter while using contactless payment services in remote or less developed areas?

Ambarish Parekh: PayCraft caters to offline payment systems, which reduces the dependency on network connectivity and infrastructure. Transactions are captured by devices in the field and sent regularly to the backend.

Paycraft has revamped every customer interface, including card issuance outside the transit operator location and the ability to purchase QR tickets via WhatsApp, Paytm, Gpay, etc., which reduces dependency on transit operator connectivity and infrastructure.

TechGraph: With the growing demand for sustainable travel practices, has PayCraft Solutions integrated any environmental initiatives or features into its contactless payment services to align with the broader sustainability goals of the travel industry?

Ambarish Parekh: PayCraft activates various environmental initiatives to save ticket paper. Paycraft has designed and developed in-house a robust digital ticket kiosk machine that helps travelers purchase QR tickets directly on their mobile phones.

Other travelers can also load the card and purchase transit cards for the operator. Instead of paper-based QR code tickets, PayCraft has developed a solution to send the QR code ticket directly to the passenger’s WhatsApp number, reducing the use of paper.

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TechGraph: How does PayCraft Solutions ensure data privacy and compliance with regulatory frameworks while processing travelers’ personal and financial information using its contactless payment services on the open loop platform?

Ambarish Parekh: PayCraft Systems is PA-DSS and PCI-DSS certified, which are globally accepted standards for open loop payments. Card numbers are replaced by tokens through PayCraft’s tokenization solution and therefore the real card number does not go through the system, instead a pseudo-card number goes through, enabling transaction safety for travelers.

TechGraph: Looking ahead, what innovative improvements or enhancements can travelers expect to see in PayCraft Solutions’ contactless payment services for the open platform? How will these developments further improve the overall travel experience?

Ambarish Parekh: PayCraft is rolling out account-based ticketing in Chennai Metro soon. With this, the passenger can use any contactless card (debit, credit or prepaid card from any payment network — Visa, MasterCard and RuPay) in their pocket to travel in the Chennai Metro.

The need for a card for the transit operator disappears. We are making the transit ecosystem cashless with our in-house innovation called kiosk and moving towards creating a truly seamless journey with interoperability.

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