Android users no longer need an OV Chipkaart to travel
From Monday, May 22, 2017, public transport passengers can check in with their smartphones provided they are Android users.
The OV-Chip Mobiel app
If you have an Android smartphone, you can now use it instead of your OV Chipkaart on public transport. OV-Chip Mobiel is a collaboration between public transport smartcard manufacturer Translink and telecommunication companies including Vodaphone, KPN, Telfort, Simyo and Yes Telecom.
They have been working on the virtual smartphone card since 2015, and whilst it had many teething problems to begin with, it finally passed the test for the above networks.
How it works
The app allows passengers to check in, check their balances and request travel history, as well as set up notifications in case they forget to check out.
The app works in conjunction with the customer's SIM card for added security and makes use of NFC (Near Field Communication). This is technology that allows a device to communicate at close range with other devices, for example, to make contactless payments.
Not for everyone
Companies like Apple do not yet allow access to their NFC, which is why the app currently only runs on Android. In addition, customers of T-Mobile and Ben will have to wait until their provider decides to come on board.
The card also only works for full-fare travel unless you are a pensioner, then the age discount will be applied automatically.
With time, the app will improve to allow subscriptions to be loaded onto the app, for example.