NS developing new OV chip card app

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. OV Chip card check-in and check-out point. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Roelof88

Dutch Rail (NS) is working on a new app to improve client experiences with the Public Transport (OV) cards. With this app, people can check and load their card balance via a smartphone with Near Field Communication (NFC), ComputerIdee.nl reports. 

The app also helps people make sure they checked out, and makes it possible for travelers to upgrade to first class after checking in.

The app will work with NFC, which is a technology that OV chip cards use now to check in at train stations. It is available on all modern smartphones, excluding iPhones.

A test version of the app is being experimented with. Several conductors and other NS staff have the app, but it is not clear when it will become available to the public.

The NS also wants to make it possible to pay for a trip on the train contact-free with a bank card. The same NFC technology should make it possible for travelers to pay for their trips at the OV-gates with bank cards. ABN Amro customers will be the first to try this. If it works well, the NS will take it further.

For OV chip card users, many complaints have come in since paper tickets have stopped. The fact that there has to be a minimum of €20 on cards is also a point of complaint for customers.

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