Seoul Metro to pilot ‘tagless’ Bluetooth fare payments at four subway stations

Passengers boarding Seoul Metro subway train in South Korea
TAGLESS: BLE and device sensors are used to automatically charge a fare to an on-phone payment card

South Korea’s Seoul Metro is to test a ‘tagless’ fare payment system that will enable passengers 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 transport provider is to trial the system — which uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and mobile sensor devices to automatically charge a fare to a payment card stored on a passenger’s smartphone as they pass through a subway gate — at four metro stations in the Korean capital prior to a full rollout across nine lines next year.

“Seoul Metro will install the tagless fare payment system on 10 gates in four different subway stations — Yongdap Station on Line 2, Oksu Station on Line 3, and Dongjak Station and Sadang Station on Line 4,” The Korea Herald reports.

“Seoul Metro aims to achieve at least 95% accuracy for the system’s location determination technology over the next six months.

“The inspection will focus on the system’s recognition technology for those getting off and on the subway, payment processing speeds and fare and transaction data.

“After the technology passes the testing process, Seoul Metro plans to expand the use of the tagless fare payment system to all passengers throughout the entire railway system by next year.”

Seoul Metro announced that it would be trialling the tagless Bluetooth fare payments system in July 2022.

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