Swedish commuters validate tickets using NFC microchips implanted in their hands

SJ NFC implant
THAT’S HANDY: SJ’s train attendants can now validate tickets by scanning an implanted NFC microchip

Commuters travelling on trains run by Swedish transport operator SJ are trialling a system that lets them have their ticket validated using an NFC microchip implanted in their hand. The microchip ticket is being piloted with customers who are SJ Prio members and the project “will be assessed on an ongoing basis”.

“SJ has developed a function in the SJ mobile test app — SJ Labs — which enters the user’s SJ Prio number into the microchip, while also updating the train attendants’ own validation app,” SJ says. “The only difference for the attendants is that they will now have to scan a microchipped hand to validate the ticket in the same way as they currently scan an SJ Regional Pass.”

The system was developed in partnership with innovation centre Epicenter, which currently allows its employees to use a microchip implanted in their hand to gain access to its premises.

“Some of SJ’s business passengers at Epicenter contacted us and asked about the possibility of using the microchip for the train journey,” says SJ’s Lina Edström. “We soon realised it was feasible with a few developments in our mobile platforms.”

“SJ is already one of Sweden’s most digital companies, so this new project could be started up very quickly,” adds the company’s Peter Dahlqvist. “The microchip ticket is a good example of how we are happy to try out new ideas alongside customers and help to force the pace of digital development.”

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