Enabling smart recovery through industry partnership

Public transport could come back stronger after the pandemic if the industry’s players work together to deliver the solutions that customers want and need

Enabling smart recovery through industry partnership

Most businesses had to put some plans on hold in 2020. And in many cases, this meant other initiatives were accelerated. In PayiQ’s case, we were already shifting our expansion strategy, from opening new offices to building partnerships, but 2020 gave us the push we needed to refocus on this. 

There is less risk involved in partnerships than in expanding a business, but resiliency was not the main reason for our prioritisation of partnerships. Our product is top of the line but in a narrow niche of ticketing platforms. While there is a rapidly growing demand for what we do, it is rarely just for our product, but rather for a range of other, more comprehensive solutions. To be where the action is, it makes sense for us to build partnerships. 

The term ‘ecosystem’ became slightly inflated and overused during the past few years before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, now, the strength of ecosystems has been understood again. 

There are many new opportunities that make sense for us to pursue to benefit PayiQ, our customers and our partners. This is why we created CITYacc, an ecosystem of smart city-focused organisations, connected through a platform designed to organise and share data, and with access to the highest levels of decision-making. 

Seeing your business as a part of an ecosystem forces you to be adaptable, to keep your interfaces open and to stay away from exclusive deals. You develop and sell what you are best at, but you do not simply focus on your own benefit. Your success is dependent on the ecosystem’s success. 

How this all plays out depends, of course, on the schedule and the efficacy of various Covid-19 vaccines around the world. We are preparing for a gradual recovery of the transport sector. Although it will take time for travel volumes to reach pre-Covid-19 levels, it may offer us new business opportunities. For example, during the recovery, the idea of rush hours may change. Commuting will probably become more distributed throughout the day than it was before the pandemic. To be able to operate mass transit with reserved time slots for individual travellers, operators need a tool like our ticketing system. 

I believe events will also make a gradual return. There will be a demand for shared live experiences when it becomes possible again. However, as much as we’d wish otherwise, the gates probably cannot be opened all at once. To intelligently manage the safe return of mass events, a smart ticketing system is essential. 

In the coming year, a smart recovery awaits, but we all must do our best to make it a success. 

Tuomo Parjanen is an executive partner at PayiQ 

This article was originally published in the Spring 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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