NETHERLANDS: National passenger operator NS is to test the use of contactless bank card payment as an alternative to the OV-chipkaart national multimodal transport smart card.

NS said using a bank or credit card for travel was a ‘logical and easy’ choice for many people, as they would not need to purchase and top-up a separate smart card or buy a ticket in advance.

Regular users of seven stations on the route between Leiden and Den Haag can express interest in the participating in the trial, which is scheduled to get underway in late January and run for six months.

Participants would be able to check-in and check-out at selected OV-chipkaart card readers using a contactless bank card issued by ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, SNS, ASN Bank or RegioBank or a contactless Mastercard or Visa credit card issued by International Card Services. The back-office would process their travel records overnight and bill them through the card issuer.

NS said any future national roll-out of contactless payment would require significant adjustments by all operators as well as OV-chipkaart operator Trans Link Systems, and because of the different operating concessions in place this would need to be done in stages.