Paris adds support for iPhone transit card top ups

iPhone transit card top up for Paris IDFM
RELOAD: iPhone users can now top up their physical Navigo transit card via the IDFM app and Apple Pay

Apple iPhone users travelling on public transport in the greater Paris region can now pay for daily, weekly and monthly travel passes and single-use tickets with Apple Pay and load them onto their physical Navigo transit card from their smartphone.

Passengers access the service through the newly updated and rebranded app of regional transportation authority Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM).

They can then scan their Navigo card with their iPhone’s NFC functionality and authorise payment for their chosen pass or ticket, which is then transferred to their physical card.

Unlike passengers with Android devices, iPhone users cannot yet purchase and store digital travel tickets or the digital Smart Navigo transit card on their smartphones and will still need to present their physical Navigo card at contactless readers when they use transport services.

However, IDFM says: “From now on, you no longer have to wait in line to load your pass: whether it is to top up your monthly subscription or for a one-off trip, you can do it from home or on your way to your station or station.”

Navigo transit is the first card operating to Calypso standards to offer a recharging function to iOS users.

Rumours that IDFM passengers would be able to store and use their Smart Navigo digital transit card on their iPhone emerged earlier in January, but to date only the card recharge function has been made available to iPhone users.

ReadyToTap Mobility

The new service for iPhone users implements the Top Up functionality of Dejamobile’s ReadyToTap Mobility technology. Its technology is also used to support IDFM’s NFC ticketing and card recharging service for Android devices, which was rolled out in September 2019.

The Navigo card recharging service is compatible with iPhone 7 and earlier models with iOS 13 and above. Apple iPhone XR, XS and XS Max are “not yet compatible but will soon be,” IDFM says.

“With the opening of NFC APIs in iOS 13, our experts were able to implement the top-up functionality of our ReadyToTap Mobility solution in iOS after having implemented it for Android users in 2018,” says Dejamobile COO Bertrand Pladeau.

“The work of our teams is bearing fruit with the commercial opening in Île-de-France which makes this innovation on iOS a European first in the Calypso world.

“We hope that the next iOS patches will enable some iPhone XR and XS models to join the community. From now on, we are closely monitoring the success of the IDFM service, while working on new m-ticketing challenges”.