Smartphones to replace public transit fare cards in Netherlands test

Train platform at Utrecht Central Station (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg). (Train platform at Utrecht Central Station (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg))

Dutch public transit companies are teaming up with telecom companies KPN and Vodafone to test using smartphones to pay public transport fares. The test already started, with the new HTM trams in The Hague premiering the service, reports.

Since the start of April, dozens of Hague travelers have been able to pay for transit on a new HTM tram using their phone. Passengers will soon be able to sign up for the service elsewhere in the country. The intention is to have some 10 thousand passengers using their smartphones to pay for transport with various public transit companies by summer. 

If you want to pay for public transit with your phone, you will need an Android smartphone with an NFC chip. Your SIM card will also need to be adapted. People with iPhones will not be able to participate in this experiment as Apple does not allow external developers on their NFC chip. 

It is currently only possible to pay for the full ticket price with the new smartphone payment system. Subscriptions and discounts will only later be added.