Paris to add support for NFC transit ticketing on Apple devices ‘by 2024’

Paris Navigo NFC transit ticketing on Apple device tapping reader
PILOT: IDFM is expected to start testing its NFC mobile ticketing service for Apple devices later this year

Apple users travelling on public transport services in the greater Paris region will be able to store a digital version of their Navigo transit card on their iPhone or Apple Watch, as well as purchase tickets and passes and validate them using their Apple device, “by 2024”, according to a tweet posted by the Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) transit authority.

To date, IDFM’s NFC mobile ticketing service has been available on compatible Samsung and Orange Android NFC smartphones only, although IDFM has now also confirmed that it will be implementing plans revealed in 2019 to add a cloud-based host card emulation (HCE) solution that will enable all Android NFC phone users to store tickets and passes on their mobile device during 2022, according to local media reports.

Some local reports have also suggested that IDFM is to roll out open-loop fare payments options, but a transit authority official has subsequently stated that it has no plans to do so.

The addition of support on Apple devices is expected to begin with a pilot later this year followed by a full rollout beginning in 2023.

“A test phase will take place this year with compatible iPhones and Apple Watches. These devices can replace the plastic cards distributed by IDFM, such as the Navigo pass,” iGeneration reports.

“By 2024, all transport tickets can be purchased directly with Apple Pay and integrated into the Cards app (ex-Wallet). 

“Validation at the gates will be done using the NFC chip of the devices, without the need to validate the operation with Touch ID or Face ID – this is what Apple calls Express mode.”

“We cannot give a precise date yet, because it depends on the progress of the developments carried out by Apple in Cupertino. But this time, for sure, it will happen,” IDFM general manager Laurent Probst told Le Parisien newspaper.

Reports that IDFM was planning to let Apple users store a digital version of their Navigo transit card on their iPhone first appeared in January 2021. IDFM began letting iPhone users top up their physical Navigo transit card from their smartphone the same month.

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