Photo cred - Keller Graham
Forgetting your OPUS card at home (or not having change to buy a ticket) can seriously put a snag in your travel plans, especially when your about to set off for work/school in the morning. The STM knows the struggle is real, and is now looking towards ways of doing away with OPUS cards and allowing Montrealers to pay for the bus/metro via smartphones.
A smartphone-OPUS combo would let STM-riders buy tickets or pass through turnstiles through a special app created by the STM. According to JdeM, who spoke to STM representatives, a smartphone-OPUS integration is in "research and development" but is still too soon to give any exact launch dates or specific details.
One major roadblock in the way of this initiative is the lack of NFC (near field communication) chips in smartphones, which is how OPUS cards connect to the STM network. If oracle-techies are correct, however, the newest iteration of the iPhone may be NFC equipped, making mobile STM payments one step closer to becoming a reality.
MoneyCell, a Quebec company all about mobile payment pointed out to JdeM how a quicker and easier way to purchase STM tickets and monthly passes would only be a good thing. Mobile payment technology is pretty safe, noted VPO Peter Lopez, and the increased convenience will increase the overall traffic on the STM network.
Opus Solution Online, an online tool to recharge your OPUS card from home, is supposed to be accomplishing a much similar goal, and is planned for 2015. In truth, both technologies would be incredibly useful, but if the STM wants to stay ahead of the curve, they should be focusing on smartphone integration
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