17 Jun 2021

Rollout of contactless payments begins on buses in Oulu, Finland

Riders can tap-to-pay for bus journeys using contactless enabled cards or digital wallets

Finland’s fifth largest city Oulu, the capital of Northern Scandinavia, welcomes contactless payments to its buses today. It’s the third Finnish city to adopt contactless transit payments this year, as part of a national rollout being managed by Helsinki Regional Transport (HSL) and TVV lippu- ja maksujärjestelmä Oy (LMJ) and implemented in partnership with transit and mobility payment processor Littlepay.

The City of Oulu is working with Littlepay to launch a tap-to-pay system on the busy 15 line initially. Over the next couple of months, card readers will be introduced to around 200 buses, so that the city’s 50,000 bus users can enjoy the simplicity and convenience of paying for fares with their contactless credit or debit card, or the digital wallet on their smartphone or wearable.

Recently named 2026 European Capital of Culture, Oulu is a hub for business and technology and a popular tourist destination - a gateway to both a lively urban culture and the tranquility of the nearby coast and surrounding countryside. Oulu values innovation and, with contactless payments already widely used in cafes, restaurants and shops, the city expects strong uptake of the new tap-to-ride technology on public transport by residents, commuters and tourists.

Tomi Paananen, Public Transport Designer at the City of Oulu, says, “We’re excited about modernizing our ticketing and payment system on buses in our city, which will improve the experience of both commuting and leisure travel. We believe quick, easy and safe contactless transit payments will be popular with our residential community and everyone that comes to visit our city.”

Flexible fares with automatic ‘best value’

The new contactless system accepts payments made by Visa, Mastercard and Eurocard credit or debit cards, and by Google Pay or Apple Pay digital wallets. The City of Oulu has created dynamic fare models within Littlepay’s merchant portal, including time-based trips and daily fare caps, to bring extra value and flexibility to public transport users.

Passengers can travel across all zones in the City and never pay more than the daily capped amount. They can also benefit from unlimited transfers for up to 90 minutes from the start of a trip, and all journeys throughout the day will count towards the daily cap. These simple fare rules are managed automatically, so riders can be sure of getting the best deal.

Modular approach for a speedier rollout

For this deployment, Littlepay is partnering with Pusatec, Logos and Feig, for card validation, and Nets, for acquiring services. This is one of many end-to-end configurations made possible by Littlepay’s modular, API-based payment processing platform, which plugs and plays with a range of pre-integrated ‘Littlepay Ready’ ticketing hardware options and acquiring banks.

Amin Shayan, CEO of Littlepay, says, “Finland is really embracing contactless transit payments and leveraging our modular system to roll out this technology quickly across its major cities. It’s fantastic to see another city begin offering the benefits of simple, value-added contactless ticketing to their public transit users. This region is already advanced in contactless payment adoption, so we’re confident the move to tap-to-pay transit will be warmly received.”

Last year, Littlepay won a contract with Helsinki Regional Transport (HSL) and TVV lippu- ja maksujärjestelmä Oy (LMJ) to enable contactless EMV payments on public transport in the Finnish capital Helsinki and in other cities throughout the country. The deployment in Oulu follows launches in Helsinki and Tampere earlier this year.


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