Airline to Speed Check-ins with Stickers; NFC App Likely to Follow

Scandinavian Airlines will issue contactless stickers to its top frequent fliers, enabling them to check in faster at the airlines self-service kiosks, lounges and gates.

The airline, known as SAS, plans to issue the passive contactless stickers to 50,000 of its most loyal customers, EuroBonus Gold members, starting in September. They could attach the stickers to the back of their phone and tap them on readers at the kiosks, lounges and boarding gates or other check-in points to automatically transmit their membership numbers. The system would be able to identify the customers and call up their flight details more quickly.

Kristine Mayer, strategic project manager at SAS and project manager of the Smart Pass service, told NFC Times the airline could easily offer the Smart Pass application to customers with full NFC phones when more handsets become available.

“At the moment, the availability of mobile phones equipped with NFC is low in Scandinavia,” she said. “When the NFC mobile market is ready, it is a natural step that SAS Smart Pass is integrated in the mobile.”

SAS held a three-month trial of the service, which ended in April, using contactless stickers with about 100 frequent fliers. Mayer said the trial “clearly showed” customers found tapping to identify themselves to be more efficient.

The Sweden-based airline since 2009 has offered mobile boarding passes using 2-D bar codes, in connection with its SMS check-in service. According to Mayer, those services have proved popular with customers.

“It is, therefore, a natural step to use the mobile phone to identify the journey through the airport,” she told NFC Times. “The mobile phone is also one of the things our passengers have easily accessible when traveling.”

A few other airlines, such as Air New Zealand, Air France and Japanese airlines have rolled out or trialed faster check-ins or boarding with contactless technology.


Australian Transit Agency to Launch Mobility-as-a-Service Trial as It Pursues Long-Term MaaS Strategy

Plans by Transport for New South Wales, Australia’s largest transit agency, to launch a trial enabling users to plan, book and pay for multimodal rides is the next step toward the agency’s long-ter

Updated: U.S. Transit Agency Seeks to Reduce–Though Not Eliminate–Cash Acceptance with New Fare-Collection System

Updated: The Spokane Transit Authority in Washington state confirmed that its new fare-collection system will include contactless open-loop payments–with a beta test planned for next October, a spokesman told NFC Times' sister publication Mobility Payments.

UK Government Seeks to Bring London-Style Contactless Fare Payments System to Other Regions

The UK government’s plan to equip 700 rail stations over the next three years to accept contactless open-loop payments is a major initiative, as it seeks to replicate the success of London’s contactless pay-as-you go fare payments system elsewhere in the country–a goal that has proved elusive in the past.

More Cities in Finland Expected to Move to Open-Loop Fare Payments

A fourth city in Finland is beginning to roll out contactless open-loop payments, with “more in the pipeline,” according to one supplier on the project, making the Nordic country one of the latest hotspots for the technology.

Moscow Metro Expands Test of ‘Virtual Troika’ in Pays Wallets, as It Continues to Develop Digital-Payments Services

Moscow Metro is recruiting more users to test its “Virtual Troika” card in two NFC wallets, those supporting Google Pay and Samsung Pay, as one of the world’s largest subway operators continues to seek more ways for its customers to pay for rides.

Ohio Transit Agency Expects Significant Revenue Loss as it Builds Equity with Fare Capping

The Central Ohio Transit Authority, or COTA, officially launched its new digital-payments service Monday, including a fare-capping feature that the agency estimates will cost it $1.8 million per year in lost fare revenue, the agency confirmed to Mobility Payments.

Special Report: Interest Grows in ‘White-Label EMV’ for Closed-Loop Transit Cards

As more transit agencies introduce open-loop fare payments, interest is starting to grow in use of white-label EMV cards that agencies can issue in place of proprietary closed-loop cards for riders who don’t have bank cards or don’t want to use them to pay fares.

Swedish Transit Agency Launches Express Mode Feature for Apple Pay, though Most Ticketing Still with Barcode-Based App

Skånetrafiken, the transit agency serving one of Sweden’s largest counties, announced today it has expanded its contactless open-loop payments service to include the Express Mode feature for Apple Pay.

Major Bus Operators in Hong Kong Now Accepting Open-Loop Payments–Adding More Competition for Octopus

Two more bus operators in Hong Kong on Saturday launched acceptance of open-loop contactless fare payments, with both also accepting QR code-based mobile ticketing–as the near ubiquitous closed-loop Octopus card continues to see more competition.

Moscow Metro Launches Full Rollout of ‘Face Pay;’ Largest Biometric Payments Service of Its Kind

Touting it as the largest rollout of biometric payments in the world, Moscow Metro launched its high-profile “Face Pay” service Friday, as expected, and predicted that 10% to 15% would regularly us

Indonesian Capital Seeks to Expand to Multimodal Fare Collection and MaaS

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, whose metropolitan area is home to more than 30 million people, is notorious for its stifling traffic congestion. In response, the government metro and light-rail networks and now it is funding an expansion of the fare-collection system to enable more multimodal payments and to build a mobility-as-a-service platform.

Exclusive: NFC Wallets Grow as Share of Contactless Fare Payments and Not Only Because of Covid

Transit agencies that have rolled out open-loop contactless payments are seeing growing use of NFC wallets to pay fares, as Covid-wary passengers see convenience in tapping their phones or wearables to pay.