En route to a new way of paying for public transport

Design Thinking

Experiment design

Living lab

Customer journeys

The challenge

How can we introduce a new payment system in public transportation as user-friendly as possible?

The approach

Public transport is changing. Well, the way you pay for public transport is changing. In various places in the Netherlands, you can now choose how you check in and out on buses, trains, trams, and metros. You can use a payment card, credit card, mobile phone, or even a smartwatch. To make this happen, all public transport companies in the Netherlands joined forces under the name OVpay.

A new payment system like this has quite an impact on travelers. That's why we established a framework to introduce this system in the most customer-oriented manner possible. Think about communication regarding the project, as well as the various touchpoints. In other words, everything that ensures that travelers can easily use the new payment methods in the future. 

To prepare for this, we first examined public transport in other cities. What is working well in Seoul, London, and Tokyo? And what could be improved? In addition, we also asked travelers about their experiences and ideas. With those insights in mind, we assisted in the introduction of the new payment system. Not everywhere, but with a trial in Lelystad. A kind of living lab where we have the space to make mistakes and learn from them. 

If you take the bus now, you can also check in and out with your debit card. The cost of the trip will be debited from your account at the end of the day. Almost all Dutch banks participate, and a lot of foreign ones as well. By the way, it works not only with your physical card, but also with your debit card on your mobile phone or your smartwatch. Cool right?

And we're far from done. For example, the accompanying app is not yet live, and traveling with a subscription is not possible either. The service is still very much in development. We continue to monitor everything and introduce new functionalities one by one. In doing so, inclusivity is a top priority for us. We constantly take into account all possible target groups. This way, we can make the experience as pleasant as possible for every traveler.

The impact

Accessible travel for everyone

Traveler can choose: pay by debit card, credit card, phone or smartwatch

Customer journey challenge?

It's quite a challenge to work with so many different public transport parties on a new payment system. But the strength lies in that collaboration. Proud to be a part of it

Hakki Altun

Experiment lead, MakerLab

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Sander Goudswaard

Partner MakerLab

+31 6 41 36 81 66




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