Visa facilitates the adoption of tap to phone in transit payment systems

Tap to phone, or SoftPOS technology, enables the acceptance of contactless payments on NFC smartphones or tablets.

It offers flexibility, convenience and security that agents in transit networks need to take contactless payments on the go and perform fare inspection.

Visa has updated their tap to phone specification to reflect this new use case and simplify the deployment of SoftPOS solutions in the transit payment system.

Tap to phone configuration for transit payment solutions

Implementation of the Tap To Phone kernel with transit payment features

To be deployed in a transport network, the Visa Tap To Phone kernel must be configured to operate as a transit acceptance device rather than payment terminal for retail. 

Indeed, Visa contactless kernel used for SoftPOS must implement all the features as described in the Visa Ready Tap to Phone kernel specification (VRTPKS).

According the VRTP v1.2 specification, the tap to phone kernel must support the features below to comply with the requirements for transit payment transactions :

  • allow the kernel to send terminal information to the card – the tap to phone kernel shall identify itself as transit gate device
  • Support of data objects and support of the SPI command (Send POI Information)

SoftPOS application providers must define the values for Tap To Phone kernels to be used in transit environments in the TTQ settings (Terminal Transaction Qualifiers).

Fare inspection

Fare inspection in the context of SoftPOS requires a high-level of security to prevent any breach of cardholder account data. The mechanism of tokenization is used to ensure the protection of sensitive card data. Thanks to tokens replacing the transaction information, the fare can be validated without any sensitive data being exposed.

Alcinéo SoftPOS solution

Alcinéo SoftPOS SDK includes a full suite of Level 2 contactless kernels already certified for integration with tap to phone, tap on phone or tap on mobile.

The latest update of Visa Tap To Phone Kernel specification version 1.2, with the support of optional features for transit payment configuration will be available in our next SDK release. 

For more information about SoftPOS technology, feel free to contact our team :

For more information about Visa kernels specifications, visit Visa Digital Partner website