Contactless Payments Launch on Public Transport in Hämeenlinna
Contactless EMV payments launch on public transport in Hämeenlinna, Finland
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Contactless EMV payments launch on public transport in Hämeenlinna, Finland

Finland’s oldest city, Hämeenlinna, modernizes transit payments with new tap-to-pay contactless EMV system.

Hämeenlinna is the fourth city in Finland to deploy contactless open-loop payments this year using Littlepay’s payment platform. Transit payment processor Littlepay today announces the launch of contactless EMV payments in the Finnish city of Hämeenlinna. The rollout, in collaboration with Hämeenlinna Regional Public Transport Authority and TVV lippu- ja maksujärjestelmä Oy (LMJ), will extend across all nine of its bus companies, to make payments simpler for passengers and encourage more use of public transport in the city.

Currently around 1 million passengers a year use these bus routes, approximately a third less than in pre-pandemic times. Creating a seamless ticketing system is one way for the local authority to make bus travel easier and incentivise more people to leave their cars at home.

Convenience for passengers

“With the new system, passengers don’t need cash, a Waltti-card, or a mobile app; they don’t need to understand ticket pricing or zones, paying for trips is much simpler. Our customers have given us feedback that they want contactless card payment options, so we’re expecting the system to be welcomed”

Kim Venesjärvi, Public Transport Coordinator, Hämeenlinna Regional Public Transport Authority

Figures from Nordic payment provider Nets show that in June 2021, 71% of all card payments in Finland were made using contactless payment methods. This compares to 64% in January 2020. With already strong adoption of contactless payments in the region, accelerated by the pandemic, the introduction of contactless EMV fare collection in many cities in Finland is timely.

In Hämeenlinna, public transport users have been accustomed to using the Waltti travel card, Finland’s nationwide, closed-loop public transport ticketing system. The move to open-loop payments adds payment choice for residents and commuters and eliminates the need for loading a ticket or stored-value to a smart card. The system will also attract new riders and tourists, who don’t carry a Waltti card, to access transport without having to understand the local fare structures and ticketing.

Modernizing transit payments

Hämeenlinna’s new transit payment system is being introduced as part of a wider project commissioned by Helsinki Regional Transport (HSL) last year to modernize transit payments in major cities throughout Finland. Hämeenlinna is the fourth city to offer contactless EMV fare collection on public transport, following the capital Helsinki, Tampere and Oulu.

This project has been accomplished by Littlepay, which offers transit payment processing. In Hämeenlinna, Littlepay is working in partnership with Nets for acquiring services, and Logos and Pusatec for ticketing technology. The rollout began on October 25th on two lines; throughout the first week of November, the scheme will be extended to all of the city’s buses.

Time-based capping

Bus passengers in Hämeenlinna using the contactless EMV system can take advantage of 90-minute time-based fare caps. This enables passengers to tap-to-pay and get unrestricted bus switches within a 90 minute window from the first tap-on. In addition, daily fare caps have been configured in Littlepay’s platform to bring automatic best-value to passengers travelling several times within a 24-hour period. It’s expected that a weekly fare cap will be added later.

“There is a lot of flexibility within our transit payments platform to configure fare caps that create an effortless payment experience for transport users. Without having to analyze complex ticketing structures, passengers can be confident they are always getting the best value ticket for the journeys they make.”

Amin Shayan, CEO at Littlepay

Passengers who use the contactless payment option will be able to pay with Visa, Visa Electron and Mastercard cards featuring the contactless symbol. They can also use GooglePay and ApplePay mobile wallets. They will be able to track their transactions using a customer portal provided by Littlepay.

More information can be found at:

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