Korean subway lines to pilot ‘tagless’ Bluetooth fare payments

Woman passing through tagless bluetooth gate on Korean subway
TAGLESS: The gate detects a passenger’s phone and charges the fare to a payment card on the device

Passengers using two subway lines in South Korea will soon be able to test a ‘tagless’ fare payment system that enables them to pay for their tickets by walking through a ticketing gate without having to tap a contactless reader with their transit card or smartphone.

The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and mobile sensor devices to detect a passenger’s smartphone when they pass through a subway gate and automatically charges the fare to a payment card stored on the passenger’s mobile device.

“If you install the T-Money Pay app equipped with a tagless payment function on your smartphone, payment is automatically made when you pass through the subway gate,” says T-Money, the payment services provider that developed the system.

“T-money tagless payment is very convenient because you can pay even if you put your mobile phone in your bag or pocket.

“Even if you have luggage or an umbrella, you can easily pass by, children and the elderly who have difficulty in operating machinery can easily use it, and even those in transportation, such as wheelchairs, can move without any action for payment.”

The pilot service is due to launch on the Ui-Sinseol light rapid transit line in Seoul and on Subway Line 2 in Incheon later this month.

Bus services in South Korea’s Gyeonnggi-do province began trialling tagless fare payments in June 2021 before officially launching the service in March this year.

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