22 Feb 2021

Contactless transit payments launched across Stockholm

Transport Ticketing
Contactless transit payments launched across Stockholm
Public transport passengers can now use contactless payments across the Stockholm region following the launch by SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik) and their technology partner Access-IS.

The latest upgrade to the system sees Access-IS devices in train gates and ticket offices as well as bus mounted validators being upgraded to permit full cEMV contactless payment capability.

Stockholm is leading the way with this deployment of contactless ticketing across a true multi-modal transit network. Barcode and NFC tickets, as well as bank and credit cards by VISA, Mastercard or American Express are all presented to a single, intuitive-to-use, point of presentation. Ticket reading is fast and dependable with clear visual indications when tickets and cards have been successfully read, meaning passenger throughput is maximised for a great user experience and reduced operational costs. Common to many Transit Authorities, SL continues to operate its ‘Accesskort’ proprietary closed loop ticketing scheme in tandem with the new upgrade. However, plans are in place to migrate ‘Accesskort’ to a new SL transit (EMV technology) closed loop card which will be read/processed on the Access-IS reader making a single point of presentation for all tickets and payments. All of the Access-IS transit validators and readers are non-proprietary, open architecture units, which free the city to use any software backend system they desire.  

When Access-IS first started to work with SL, it was the beginning of a journey to modernise ticketing across Stockholm. At any ticket reader on buses, metro barriers, commuter trains and boats, rail or tram platform, or with the tram conductor, passengers can now simply tap to make a payment using all major payment schemes as well as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay via their mobile devices digital wallet. A single tap buys them a single trip, priced at SEK 38, the same as the SL app, the ticket machines, or the ‘SL Accesskort’. Initially the system has gone live with adult tickets, but concession tickets for pensioners, students or children will follow.

The ticket becomes valid the moment you tap your contactless card for the first time at the start of your journey and remains valid for 75 minutes. All of a passenger’s journeys are tallied up and debited as a single payment the following day, making travel payments easy to understand and simple to track for the passenger. For passenger security, SL does not see debit card numbers or card accounts but uses a technology where the correct card number is exchanged for a random number. This means that SL cannot see which person the payment card is linked to.

Speaking about the project, Charlotte Modig, Payments and Cards Senior Business Manager for SL Stockholm said, ‘As we modernize our ticketing system to be leading edge, the learning curve for all involved is steep. Close cooperation between SL and Access has managed to overcome challenges and deliver a service we are all rightly proud of’.

Speaking about the project – Cliff Hunter, Head of Sales for Access-IS said “Our relationship with SL goes from strength to strength with a great deal learnt on all sides during this ‘the largest of its kind’ deployment of contactless transit payments”. He continued, “we champion software agnostic transit products to give operators flexibility in how they implement their mobile ticketing and payment schemes”.


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