CHINA: Guangshen Railway Co says it is the first inter-city operator in China to introduce digital payment for travel on its services, which link Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The system uses Alipay’s e-wallet payment technology. Users register on the Alipay app, and generate a QR code which is scanned on entering and leaving the stations. Passengers have 3 h to complete the journey, and are billed the appropriate fare on leaving the destination station. The system supports standard class travel, but users can pay on the train to upgrade to first class.

The operator said ticket verification on entry takes about 3 sec, compared with up to 15 min to order and collect tickets and verify ID cards in the past.

Foreigners and residents of Hong Kong and Macau who do not have Chinese ID cards need to register at station ticket machines using passports or travel permits. Facial recognition ticket barriers went live at Shenyang North station on January 16.