Around 70,000 customers tapped their debit cards and other open-loop cards and credentials to pay for rides with Dutch national rail operator NS during the first week after the operator launched open-loop service, Jan. 31. The adoption figure represented only 1% of riders, with open-loop service only available for second-class, single rides and without discounts for now.
The first-week adoption represented about 10,000 customers per day paying for rides with open-loop. Since NS serves around 1 million customers per day, it means that only about 1% of riders were tapping in and out with open-loop cards or wallet credentials to pay fares.
Around 70,000 customers tapped their debit cards and other open-loop cards and credentials to pay for rides with Dutch national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, or NS, during the first week after the operator launched open-loop service, Jan. 31, an NS spokeswoman confirmed to Mobility Payments.
That represented about 10,000 customers per day paying for rides with open-loop, she confirmed. NS serves around 1 million customers per day, the spokeswoman confirmed. That means that only about 1% of riders were tapping in and out with open-loop cards or wallet credentials to pay fares.
As Mobility Payments reported late last month, NS is by far the largest transit operator in the Netherlands, which is rolling out a nationwide open-loop payments service across a range of bus, tram, metro and train operators–as part of its OVpay system. RTL Nieuws originally reported the one-week adoption figures and the fact that more customers are tapping with open loop on weekends than weekdays, so far.
NS has more than 400 train stations, where users can tap readers, and inspectors on trains carrying handheld readers also can check riders’ open-loop cards or credentials.
As with other Dutch operators, NS only enables customers to pay with open loop for single rides, at present. In the case of the national rail operator, they can only tap to pay for second-class, one-way or round-trip fares and can’t benefit from a range of concessionary and season tickets the agency offers.
OVpay program director Bas van Weele, who is also director of external affairs for transit operator Arriva Netherlands, contends that open-loop is not only for occasional riders, as Mobility Payments has reported.
He said that later in 2023, a number of the Dutch transit operators are planning to introduce fare capping–first daily capping, followed by more “complicated versions,” though he didn’t elaborate.
And van Weele told Mobility Payments early last month that transit riders in the Netherlands could begin receiving concessionary discounts while using their contactless open-loop cards and wallet credentials later this year.
But a spokeswoman for NS, when asked if the rail operator would eventually support day passes, monthly season tickets, student and other discounts with open loop, pointed to a planned closed-loop card, based on white-label EMV technology, that the Dutch public transit industry plans to issue. At present, these concessions and season tickets are supported by the closed-loop OV-chip card.
This new card, called OV-pas, will be available in physical and virtual form, the latter for mobile wallets, the spokeswoman noted. “This card will support discounts like now with the OV-chip card,” she said.
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