Interview with Gábor Dávidházy, Strategic Director of Mobile Payment Plc., Hungary


What is National Mobile Payment?

The state-owned National Mobile Payment Plc. is an innovative organisation that provides public services and facilitates the uniform system of mobile payment in Hungary. National Mobile Payment Plc. developes and implements projects, but its professional scope is much broader. By means of cooperation with organisations providing public services and IT support for public services, the company establishes an IT innovation platform in Hungary.

The aim of the company is to provide people with access to domestic public services by means of comfortable, safe and cost-effective mobile payment. Moreover, it tries to spread mobile purchases and mobile payments to acquire public services for which these payment methods are not available yet.

What are the reasons that have motivated you to join the ERTICO Partnership?

 DSC9817Cooperation is key for companies operating in the transportation sector. ERTICO provides a great platform for such cooperation. By doing so, it creates unlimited capabilities for previously unseen solutions.

A good example is mobile payment, which allows people to avoid queues and obtain the most up to date travel information. But of course, this would not be enough to increase the attractiveness of public transportation.

However, if we were able to reuse information from payment services, for example statistics of available parking spots in a given area, together with the convenience of multimodal travel services, then directing commuters towards P+R during rush hours may save considerably the time spent in traffic.

This would reduce travel related stress, have a positive impact on the time spent commuting and improve air quality during rush hours.

Combining different areas creates added value, and ERTICO is all about this concept.

What are the ITS trends that interest you the most?

Cooperation between different areas of ITS. For example, proactive trip planning, which considers traffic, parking and the ecological footprint of the trip.

We are also interested in alternative ways of transportation like car sharing or bike rentals. We certainly see major opportunities in this area, given that most of the transportation services require flexible and user friendly ways of payment.

Furthermore, our long-term goal is to become a major ITS player in Hungary.

In your website the Hungarian National Electronic Ticketing Platform is mentioned as an example of interoperable ITS solutions. How does it work? What has been your role in its implementation? 

The establishment of a uniform system is necessary for all public transport services in Hungary to be accesible for users from a single platform. It also ensures that different market players provide mobile and electronic payment services to customers under the same conditions, independently of the area of the country from where they are purchased.

Apart from facilitating the accesibility to transportation services, interoperability has been one of the major achievements. Along these lines, it enables users to use different modes of public transportation.

National Mobile Payment Plc is the appointed coordinator of the establishment of this nationwide system,. Therefore, we hace been involved in the process from the first stages (setting requirements) to the acceptance aspects after the system’s roll-out.

What are the latest breakthroughs in the development of electronic and mobile payment systems?

When looking at the rapidly developing mobile payment market, there are number of technological and business solutions already available, however, we do not see a major breakthrough, but the continuous development across more and more sectors.

The major breakthrough in our company was the launch of a common nationwide payment system, which included the distance based tolling system and the mobile parking system. Bringing these solutions into reality keeps us on the right track, and encourage us to start new projects and spread mobile payment solutions.

Other successful story comes from the National Fare Collection Platform Project (NEJP), which aims to develop electronic and mobile payment channels to provide best in class comfortable solutions for public transport’s users.

Could mobile payments contribute to incentivise the use of public transport?

Mobile payment provides a highly convenient payment method, eliminating the need to queue for a ticket, and providing at the same time the most up to date travel information. But of course, this would not be enough to direct more attention to public transportation.

On the other hand, if we were able to reuse information from the payment services, like the statistics of available parking spots in a given area, with the convenience of multi modal travel services, it is easy to recognize, that directing commuters towards P+R during rush hours may save considerable time spent in traffic. It will reduce travel related stress, have a good impact on time spent with work but also shall have a good impact on air quality during rush hours. Using mobile payment provides a common base to buy these services combined while leading the customer via the process to reach its destination on a most convenient way.

Are mobile payments safe?

Mobile payment is a highly secure way to execute payment transactions- particularly when it is used ‘on the way’ (as is usually the case) where only predefined services are to be paid. 

As long as we use mobile payments with the same precaution with which we use our bank card, there shall be no additional risks. Of course, as credit cards are a target to fraud, with the higher penetration of mobile payment, security measures will become even more important.


For more information, visit www.nemzetimobilfizetes.hu (HU)