Commuters in Istanbul will soon be able to use their prepaid travel cards to pay for their shopping in supermarkets, thanks to a protocol signed between supermarket chain Migros Ticaret A.Ş. and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) subsidiary electronic money and payment services provider Belbim A.Ş.
According to a statement released by the IBB, the protocol, which was signed on January 10, was a step toward realizing the municipality's vision of transforming the Istanbulkart into an "urban life" card.
Within the scope of the initiative, Istanbulites will be able to buy or top-up their Istanbul cards with cash, credit or debit cards in Migros, Kipa, M-Jet, 5M, and Macrocenter stores with no additional costs. Migros supermarkets will accept Istanbulkarts as payment methods for up to TL 300-worth purchases.
After registering their Istanbulkart, users will be able to earn points from their shopping transactions. The points earned will be redeemable at all Istanbulkart spending points (public transport, IBB Social Facilities, Beltur cafes, food and beverage vending machines, İspark car parks, bike rentals, iTaksi etc.). There are more than 18 million Istanbulkarts used by Istanbulites and frequent visitors to the city.
Members of Migros' consumer loyalty and reward program Money Club, which has 12 million active users nationwide, will also be able to pair up their existing card with their Istanbul travel card and continue to earn points.