The Auckland Regional Transport Authority is in talks with Visa Inc. to expand the function of the new “super ticket” system the agency has planned for the New Zealand city’s public transport system.

An official at the authority’s public service department confirms to PaymentsSource the ongoing discussions are under way but would not comment. Visa representatives could not be reached for comment.

In November last year, the authority announced the signing of an agreement with French technology vendor Thales Group, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Auckland Regional Council for a “super” transport ticket for Auckland (see story). Through the initiative, the authority would offer a single ticket consumers may use on trains, buses and ferries. The planners expect the project to be operational by September, before the Rugby World Cup.

The authority last fall said the new system eventually would be able to process small payments, such as coffee purchases, parking-meter charges. Local media reports indicate that the talks with Visa center on giving commuters the option to add their credit card information to the transit smart card to support such purchases.

Similar cards combining Visa payment and commuter functions already are in use in Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Singapore, London and Paris.

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