Rio de Janeiro metro enables contactless payments

Brazil’s top tourist destination introduces the system across 41 stations.

Visa upgrades Rio's metro system with contactless payments

Rio de Janeiro's underground system has rolled out contactless payments in a partnership with Visa and other local and international providers.

The technology is in place across all of Metro Rio's 41 stations. The offering is underpinned by Visa's Secure Access Module platform, which allows acceptance of any card, mobile phone or near field communication (NFC)-enabled device and eliminated the need to change the underground operator's current infrastructure at the gates.

In this initial phase, the contactless system will only work with Visa credit cards and mobile digital wallets Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

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The full implementation of contactless at Metro Rio follows trials in place since 2018, in partnership with Planeta Informática, Ingenico Group and Digicon. Local payment processor Cielo was also involved in rolling out the NFC technology at the gates of Rio de Janeiro's underground system.

"Acceptance of contactless payments is a key step towards providing convenience and practicality to users, since it eliminates queues and makes travel faster and easier. We believe that urban mobility should be increasingly integrated and user-friendly and we are excited to be able to offer this innovation to residents and tourists, " said MetroRio's president, Guilherme Ramalho.

Visa said it is currently working alongside banks, fintechs and retailers to ramp up the distribution and use of contactless payments in Brazil.

According to the Visa's own data, digital cards and mobile wallets are in use by over 3 million Brazilian businesses and over one million transactions are made through contactless monthly.

Cielo is one of the main providers of payment terminals in Brazil and says about 95 percent of its estate is equipped with the technology. The firm added it is working with retailers and other players in the ecosystem to help them understand how the technology is used and increase user adoption.