Seoul, South Korea - The Seoul Metropolitan Government introduces the world's first "tagless payment" for public transportation.
Why it matters:
Seoul is launching a groundbreaking contactless transit payment system on its Seoul LRT Ui Sinseol line, marking an evolution in the convenience of public transportation.
The system is expected to revolutionize how commuters interact with public transportation infrastructure.
The Key Points
Seoul's "tagless payment" allows passengers to pass through fare gates without swiping a transit card, streamlining the payment process.
A testament to two decades of progress, the tagless payment system uses advanced Bluetooth technology instead of the NFC method, which requires close contact.
This next-generation payment system uses the BLE method, which detects signals from up to 10 meters away.
The result is a seamless payment experience that allows users, including people with disabilities, infants, and those carrying heavy luggage, to pass through fare gates as if walking down the street.
The system has been piloted at four stations, including Samyangsagori Station, and has successfully integrated station interlocking and automatic payment.
T Money's tagless service on the Seoul LRT Ui Sinseol line won the "Grand Prize for New Technology Innovation" at the UITP (2023 World Congress of Public Transport) Awards.
The Big Picture
Since introducing the transit card system in 2004, Seoul has been a global leader in transit payment innovation.
It is also expected to reduce station congestion and payment queues. With the BLE method, travelers don't need to fish out cards or mobile apps, making the transit experience smoother.
Users need the "Mobile T Money app" and an enabled Bluetooth feature to use the service.
The service was launched on September 6, covering 12 stations and 13 corridors of the Seoul LRT Ui Sinseol line.
The NFC method will remain in place for stations outside the system, ensuring that existing transit cards remain valid.
The new and existing payment methods will coexist until full commercialization.
The head of the Seoul Metropolitan Government's Office of Urban Transportation envisions that the "tagless payment" system will elevate Seoul's public transportation to a world-class level, ensuring that it remains inclusive and efficient for all commuters.
In the future, Seoul plans to expand the contactless system to other modes of transportation, such as the Seoul Metro and autonomous buses.