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Ease of payment in public transport

NS is participating in the OV payment programme launched by the NOVB (National Public Transport Council). The ‘OVpay’ programme was set up to offer easier and additional payment options for public transport passengers. In future, passengers will be able to check in and check out using their bank cards, credit cards, smartphones, smartwatches, etc. as well as their regular OV-chipkaart (public transport smart card). We are developing various different payment methods and testing them with passengers.

Travelling using a bank card or OV-chipkaart

From August through December 2022, over 3,000 passengers participated in a pilot to test our new 'travel by bank card’ method. Overall, passengers were positive about this new option, although the pilot also highlighted the need for some technical improvements. The ‘travel by bank card’ option was launched nationwide at the end of January 2023.

NS is also involved in the technical development of the new OV-chipkaart on passengers’ mobile phones. This has proved to be more complicated than expected. The technical development process took more time and was dependent on other parties, including banks, Google and Apple. Moreover, installing this mobile OV-chipkaart on a mobile phone failed to meet our standards in terms of user-friendliness. After some adaptations, the new method will be tested among customers by mid-2023.

Rail travel using GPS

Rail travel using GPS allows passengers to check in and check out using their mobile phones. They use a special NS app to start and end the train journey. The GPS identifies and registers the carriers that passengers use during their journey. When we piloted this system last year, we discovered that our customers' experiences with this payment method were not yet good enough. The app did not work properly and was not always able to quote the correct fare. For these reasons we have decided to postpone this new payment method and to reconsider it with other public transport providers at some later point in time.

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