Smart Payments in Smart Cities

Updated: Jun 24

Payments form the core of every economic flow in a city since it features in the majority of basic services offered to citizens. Many cities are realizing the value and significance of digital payments systems and the integral part it plays in achieving their vision of becoming smart cities.

Smart payment systems are essential for mobile and online access to services, secure government transactions and efficient mobility.

A decrease in the use of physical money has already seen many cities on their way towards enjoying the benefits of their initiatives on payment digitization. The main benefit of using smart payment processes is cost saving as a result of payment efficiencies, reduced theft as well as a decrease in shadow economy and corruption in the public sector.

Having a digital strategic plan and a governance framework in place is key for effective smart payments transformation. The digital strategy should be design-driven and well-defined to deliver a viable ecosystem. Smart cities need to have a roadmap as highlighted below to reach the full potential of their payment digitization efforts.

Following are the cornerstones for smart cities to develop smart payment systems

Here is the description and role of the above-described points in the development of a smart payment system in a smart city.

A digital vision

A full understanding of the common priorities, concerns, and key differences among stakeholders is key to building a clear roadmap and vision for smart payment transformation for any city.

Cities need to assess keenly the stakeholder concerns, align them with their priorities and offer input to gain their buy-in.

Without the right vision, resources and plans in place, smart city programs will not reach their full potential. A piecemeal approach is all too common and will prove ineffective in the long run.

Adequate Infrastructure

The infrastructure currently in place for payments and collections in most cities primarily focuses on physical modes like cheque and cash and is not adequately equipped to accept digital smart payments.

Cities need to have an infrastructure that is well connected and well maintained, in place to support effective smart payment transformation. Most of the smart payment technologies run on sensors and other connected assets that are linked together through broadband and wireless networks.

Lack of digital transformation processes, broadband systems, scalable & shared technology architecture will not facilitate smart payment development.

Existing data records need to be digitized for maximum information sharing across departments, channels and divisions.

Poor infrastructure, low internet connectivity and penetration can negatively impact customer experience for online transactions making digital payments less effective.

Keep pace with advanced digital technologies.

Cities that fail to adapt and keep pace with the digital innovations and core technologies that are progressing faster may become less competitive and attractive to stakeholders in an increasingly digital marketplace.

Smarts Cities can draw on digital ecosystems by partnering with technology providers or outsource the development and implementation of digital innovations.

If cities are able to keep up with digital innovations, then the delivery of payment services will be a seamless process. Customers will have trust in technology-based payments.

Adopting these smart applications is not the only key to driving smart city initiatives, but to meeting the needs of citizens, and attracting the talent to advance their digital agenda.

WIASE RESEARCH INSTITUTE is committed to empowering cities and communities with the latest technology with the collaboration of DATA SCIENCE to implement the smart solution which can help cities and communities to survive in current challenges they are facing to be sustainable.

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