Train travellers in the Netherlands to test new contactless check-in systems
Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) is looking for volunteers to take part in a trial to test new technology which allows their passengers to pay for their travels using their contactless debit card or smartphone, instead of their OV-chipkaart.
New NS OVpay trial at Dutch train stations
Anyone who makes use of public transport in the Netherlands will be familiar with the current OV-chipkaart system, which allows them to travel on all modes of transportation simply by tapping their card and checking in. Now, however, public transport operators are looking to make transportation even more convenient and accessible for travellers - and this is where the new NS trial comes in.
The rail company is looking to recruit volunteers for the trial that is set to kick off later this month. From August 29, this group will be able to check in using their debit or credit cards, or the contactless payment system on their smartphone or smartwatch. Those taking part in the trial will be able to travel across all routes offered by NS in the Netherlands.
“With this test, checking in and out for the train is just as easy and fast as a contactless payment for your groceries,” explains Ivo Steffens, director of commerce at NS. “You no longer have to go to a ticket machine to buy a ticket or load your balance, but you can check in immediately and quickly catch your train. It's all about convenience.”
Contactless public transport payment to launch by 2023
This trial is part of the larger plan to launch OVpay; the new system of contactless payments on Dutch public transport. OVpay was initially supposed to launch over the summer, but earlier this month it was announced that the launch was being postponed until “the end of 2022” as a result of software issues.
“We are introducing OVpay step by step. We are working hard to ensure that everyone can check in and check out anywhere with OVpay by 2023,” the company says on its website. “Only when we are sure that it works will we introduce it nationally.”
Until the system’s official national launch, Dutch public transport operators will continue to run trials across various cities, with trials already underway in Amsterdam, Lelystad, Zwolle, and Delft.