Föli first to introduce contactless payment in Finnish regional transport

27.01.2021 10:01

Föli first to introduce contactless payment in Finnish regional transport

Turku region public transport Föli introduces contactless payment. As of 27 January 2021, trips can be paid for in buses with debit or credit cards. Through this, Föli joins a select group of international pioneers in the use of EMV contactless payment technology. Contactless payment is possible e.g. in the public transportation of London and St Petersburg, but Turku region public transport Föli is the first regional transport operator to deploy this payment method.
 
- “Föli is a pioneer in facilitating easy payments in Finland and the Nordic Countries. It is delightful to make this easy payment method available to residents, companies and passengers,” Public Transport Service Director Sirpa Korte says.
 
Föli has prepared for the new payment method  by replacing the reader devices on all buses. The back-end system has also been updated. Contactless payment was already enabled in December on line 1 that operates between the harbour, the city centre and the airport. This allowed for observing and correcting errors in the system before the technology’s deployment across the entire transport network.
 
- “Contactless payment in public transport represents the latest developments on a global scale, and now it has been updated to Föli’s entire transport network. We are glad to be the first operator to introduce this modern payment method in Finnish regional transport. Travelling and bus transfers flow smoothly with contactless payment, as the payment card can be shown to the reader in the same way as Föli travel cards. The system automatically calculates the cheapest ticket price, and the passenger does not have to think in advance about the required ticket or the number of trips they intend to undertake,” development manager Topias Pihlava says.
 
When using contactless payment, the customer shows a bank card with the contactless payment feature to the reader device in the bus / water bus, and the trip is charged to the customer’s card. With contactless payment, customers no longer need to carry cash with them. All old payment methods remain available, however: mobile tickets, travel cards and cash can still be used on all Föli lines.
 
The hope is that contactless payment will increase the use of public transport and make travel easier. Bank card payment makes travel easier for occasional travellers, in particular. The new payment method is also likely to speed up traffic, as the purchase of single tickets in buses will decrease.  
 
- “We want to facilitate the everyday life of residents and companies in the Turku region. Contactless payment lowers the threshold for using Föli’s services also for people who are less familiar with using public transportation,” public transport service director Sirpa Korte states.

The system calculates the cheapest possible ticket for the customer

Contactless payment is easy. The payment card is placed onto the reader device; the device will not ask for your PIN. The reader will beep and display the text ‘lähimaksu hyväksytty’ (contactless payment accepted). The passenger can go sit down; no ticket will be printed. The payment card or device must be shown to the bus reader device on every trip. So if the customer travels on several different buses within the two-hour transfer period, the payment card must be shown to the reader every time when boarding a bus.
 
When using contactless payment, a single ticket has the normal price of 3 euros and includes a 2-hour right of transfer. However, the final price is determined by the number of purchases and journeys, and that way passengers always get the cheapest tickets possible. For example, if a passenger buys a third single ticket within the same day (normal price 3 x €3 = €9), the ticket turns into a one-day ticket (€8). There are currently three price caps: single ticket (2h), 1-day ticket and 7-day ticket.  
 
- "The debit or credit card is shown to the reader device in the bus when boarding the vehicle, and the system ensures the implementation of a two-hour free-of-charge transfer right. The passenger can travel without worries – we apply an €8 daily limit and a €26 weekly limit, so even the most eager travellers stay within these limits,” Sirpa Korte reminds people.
 
At the moment of deployment, contactless payment cannot be used for buying tickets of more than 7 days, but 30-day tickets will be introduced in the system later on. For the time being,  entitled groups such as senior citizens or students cannot use their discounts when using contactless payment, but contactless payment for discounted tickets is being planned.  
 
The charges and trips can be checked on Föli’s online loading service, from the ‘My contactless payments’ section. A receipt can also be printed there.  
 
Trips can be paid for with Visa, Mastercard and Eurocard payment cards and mobile devices, such as Apple Pay, Pivo and Google Pay. Not all credit cards are accepted; Diners Club and American Express do not work, for example.  
 
The customer must use the same payment card or mobile device on each trip in order for the amount to be charged to be correct. A single payment card or mobile device equipped with the contactless payment feature can only be used to pay for one person’s trips, so for the time being, one cannot use a payment card to pay for their child’s trip, for example.  
 
 
More information: foli.fi/en/contactless-payment

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