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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Metro Plans to Expand Visa Card Payment System

The Moscow metro plans to expand a pilot project that allows Visa customers to pay for journeys by swiping their credit cards at turnstiles, a spokeswoman said Monday.

After a successful trial with customers at the Bank of Moscow, it has been decided to expand the system to other banks, metro spokeswoman Svetlana Sarova said, although she would not offer a specific timeframe.

The press office at Visa International refused to comment on the metro's plans, however, saying it was too early to talk about any potential expansion of the project.

The system will see banks issuing account holders with new Visa cards embedded with a chip designed to transmit the customer's details to the bank each time the card is swiped over a reader installed in the turnstiles at metro stations.

The overall total according to how many trips have been taken will then be automatically deducted from the customer's account at the end of each month.

"We think that the system will make traveling on the metro a lot easier," Sarova said, adding that it would allow customers to avoid long lines at cash desks. Sarova explained that the system would work on a sliding price scale, with the cost of each journey progressively getting cheaper.

"If you travel once or twice, then you'll pay the full price but if you travel 10 or 15 times, you'll pay less for each journey," she said.

Security measures for the existing Bank of Moscow project are the same as for any other Visa card payments, a spokeswoman for Visa International said.

The Bank of Moscow only includes credit cards, not debit cards, in its system, Vremya Novostei newspaper reported Monday.

The Moscow project is intended to mirror a similar one that has been running on the New York City Subway in conjunction with Citigroup and Mastercard since last summer. The Moscow system lacks the same PassPay technology, however.

"We took this idea from the New York subway, but our system will work more quickly," metro chief Dmitry Gayev said, Vremya Novostei reported.

It was not immediately clear how this would be possible.