France’s railway network adopts mobile payments
French railway operator SNCF has adopted a mobile payments system from Californian tech firm VeriFone Systems, which allows customers to pay for railway tickets using a mobile device.
Deployment of handheld devices began in April, and is intended to reach 12,000 units by this month. The PAYware Wynid management payments tool built by VeriFone Systems will be used across the SNCF network, including on France’s renowned high-speed TGV trains.
The tool can accept domestic and international EMV card payments, process ticket sales and provide invoices and information services for passengers. VeriFone’s gateway service gathers and routes all types of electronic transactions and accommodates traditional and contactless cards, mobile and online payment.
“VeriFone’s unique managed payment solution makes it possible for SNCF to further improve efficiency and productivity on our trains by adding on-board payment to our mobile solution,” said Carole Morere, department director for train information systems at SNCF. “Mobile payment further enhances passenger convenience and is a natural complement to existing capabilities of access to real-time information such as train schedules and seating availability.”
Similar tools have been rolling out across Europe in recent months. In April, Turkish operator Turkcell and SIM card and mobile security solutions provider Gemalto partnered to integrate the country’s public transport card Urfakart into Turkcell’s mobile wallet, allowing customers to make contactless payments for transport services in Turkey province using their mobile phones.
Meanwhile in May, Spanish banks La Caixa and Santander partnered with telecoms firm Telefónica to create a joint venture offering mobile payment services and a digital wallet designed to gather all their credit cards into one place; users will also be able to send and receive funds via their mobile phone. Bank account details will not be necessary; all the sender needs is the recipient’s phone number.