Tagless payment introduced for pilot operation at subway stations in S. Korea

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 5, 2022, 10:43 Updated : July 5, 2022, 10:43

[Courtesy of Tmoney]

SEOUL -- A tagless payment service was introduced for pilot operation at selected subway stations to make South Korea's public transportation system more convenient using sensor devices installed at ticket gates and Bluetooth low energy (BLE), a wireless personal area network technology intended to provide reduced power consumption.

A smartphone app equipped with a tagless payment function will automatically pay just after passing through subway gates, said Tmoney, a smart mobility and payment service company that has popularized a type of rechargeable smart card that can be used to pay for transportation fares in Seoul and many other areas.  

The T-money card works like a debit card and can be used in lieu of cash or credit cards in retail shops such as convenience stores, cinemas, and pharmacies using payment by both plastic and mobile apps.

Tmoney said it would create new innovations in public transportation payments with faster, more convenient, and more stable services using an automatic payment system that would increase the convenience of the vulnerable such as children, the elderly and wheelchair users. It is possible to pay even when smartphones are kept in bags or pockets.

Tmoney hopes to accelerate commercialization by supplementing problems through a pilot project for about two months starting in mid-July at designated subway stations in Seoul and the western port city of Incheon. The new service will be rapidly spread if it is used at other subway stations and city buses.

"By utilizing the know-how of our public transportation payment solutions, we will lead smarter public transportation payment solutions through the rapid commercialization of tagless payments," Tmoney's AFC business head Park Yong-sik said in a statement. Since the tagless payment service coexists with existing tag payment services, passengers can select and pay in any way they want. 

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