Visa launches global study into the future of transportation, highlighting opportunities and pain points in daily travel


● 61% of Australians say easier payment would increase their use of public transport and 67% would consider sharing data and location information to improve the transport experience
● Australia is home to the highest car usage globally, with reliability, safety and convenience being the most influential factors in selecting a mode of transport


Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), the global payments technology company, in collaboration with Stanford University today launched one of the largest global studies examining the growing demand for public and private transportation and the important role digital commerce plays in driving sustainable growth.

The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity (“the study”) surveyed 19,884 consumers across 19 countries including Australia, exploring commuting habits and challenges, and how these may continue to develop alongside rapid urbanisation. The key findings were combined with a view of existing and near horizon innovations provided by experts at Stanford University, to better understand the technology gaps in addressing pain points.

With a focus on urban centres, the study surveyed consumers in Sydney and Melbourne to represent the country and found that while new forms of transport such as ride sharing have emerged and cities invest in solutions like bicycle infrastructure, Australian’s car reliance remains the highest in the world. 72% of respondents use this mode of transport for driving to and from work, school or university and 77% using it for personal travel. This was followed by North America at 70% for commuting and 68% for personal use.

Axel Boye-Moller, Visa’s Head of Product for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific said, “The future success of our cities is intertwined with, and reliant on, the future of transportation. Visa and Stanford University’s study identified clear areas of opportunity for Australia to significantly improve the daily travel experience.

“A good example is payment – 61% of Australians said easier payment would increase their use of public transport. We’ve already seen good progress made in in this area through our partnership with Transport for NSW, with commuters now able to tap to pay on Sydney ferries, light rail and trains. As our cities grow and develop, we see an important role for Visa and our partners to support transport authorities in continuing to build sustainable and convenient solutions.”

Other key findings included: 

Appetite for innovation:

  • 67% of Australians may be prepared to share data and location information on movements while travelling if it was used to improve the transport experience.
  • 74% would be willing to try a consolidated app that allowed you to pay for all public transport via your mobile phone.
  • 64% would be willing to paying with a debit or credit contactless card for all public transport.
  • 54% would be willing to try a system using technology such as Bluetooth or facial recognition that recognised when you got on and off public transport and charged you for the journeys you made.

Commute times:

  • 51% of Australians spend more time commuting than they did five years ago and 40% expect their commuting time to increase over the next five years. This is compared to a global average of 46% and 37% respectively.

Public transport:

  • The things Australians find most frustrating about public transport are long queues to purchase fares (46%); not knowing how much they have to pay (42%); needing different tickets for different modes of transport (39%); and having to top up or prepay a travel card (32%)
  • The three most important factors in Australians’ choice of transport mode are reliability, safety and convenience, with other influences including speed, price, cleanliness and not being overcrowded.

Visa’s top five recommendations for the future of transportation:

  • Invest in connectivity. City governments needs to invest in an “always on” data infrastructure, which is fundamental to the technology solutions that consumers demand. It supports real-time data exchanges that can inform people about their journey as well as provide insight for cities to ensure that services meet shifting demand.
  • Create a seamless payment experience to support commuter journeys with multiple “legs”. City governments and urban planners need to collaborate with think tanks, automotive and technology firms, and payments providers such as Visa. As a single journey will increasingly involve more than one mode transport, it becomes imperative to create a simple, streamlined payment experience for the commuter, ranging from contactless transit to in-app payments or platform-based solutions.
  • Integrate personal authentication into the payment experience. As companies and municipalities increasingly incorporate digital payments, they also need to integrate instant authentication. The role of Digital ID in the ecosystem is critical to address the changes in the way people use transportation, ensuring that both payment and personal authentication is easy and seamless.
  • Design commerce systems with all members of society in mind. When designing the commerce ecosystem, all members of the transportation ecosystem need to challenge their thinking to include seniors and the un- or underbanked, ensuring no one is left behind.
  • Develop strategic partnerships to drive insights. Cities should partner with corporations that can broader insight, aiding in planning. Artificial Intelligence in combination with Big Data can be used to analyse data about consumption, movement and changing trends to anticipate needs in real time as well as provide cities with insight that can help with future planning. 

Visa commissioned the Future of Transportation consumer research with Sapio Research. The survey was conducted with 19,384 consumers living in either of the two biggest cities in 19 countries. This included 1027 Australians in Sydney and Melbourne. All interviews were conducted online during July 2018.

The cities and countries covered were: Argentina (Buenos Aires, Cordoba), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo), Canada (Toronto, Montreal), China (Shanghai, Beijing), Egypt (Cairo, Alexandria), France (Paris, Marseille), Germany (Berlin, Hamburg), India (Mumbai, Delhi), Japan (Tokyo, Osaka), Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara), Poland (Warsaw, Krakow), Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg), South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg), Sweden (Stockholm, Gothenburg), South Korea (Seoul, Busan), UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi), UK (London, Birmingham), US (New York, Los Angeles).

The respondents consisted of 65 per cent living in the inner city/centre and 35 per cent in the outer city and suburbs. More than half (55 per cent) were in full-time employment.

We asked people about the modes of transport they use, their commuting experience (including their biggest concerns), reasons for not choosing certain transport methods, and their views on payment for transport and different innovations that could impact their travelling experience. The findings on frustrations and pain points were shared with researchers from Stanford University who then explored technologies and products currently available that could solve some of these problems.


About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa and @VisaNews.