Norwegian public transport embraces mobile payment solutions

Nobody uses cashless payments more often than Norwegians; and at the same time, they have never used public transport as often as they do right now for their travel. Therefore, there is now full coverage for the leading mobile payment wallet Vipps when buying tickets all around the country for bus, train and tram journeys.

26th September 2019

“Digital payment solutions as an integrated part of efficient and easy to use mobile ticket apps are the key,” says Kristin Vge Jansson, Director of Digital Customer Services at VY (formerly the Norwegian State Railways NSB).

On Tuesday last week, the consulting company Capgemini published its annual "World Payments Report". It shows that Norway is at the top of the world in the use of cashless payments per capita. On average, they pay cashless more than once every day. At the same time, Statistics Norway in May reported a record-high in the use of public transport in Norway in 2018. Taken together, there is a clear a trend towards greater alignment between the public transport providers and the payment companies such as Vipps.

“It has not been many years since the public had the coins to pay for their train ticket but in recent years there has been a digital shift in how the public transport providers have simplified the journey for millions of Norwegians,” says Berit Svendsen, at Vipps. “Today you can travel from the north to south of Norway by public transport, without bringing a physical wallet.”

Full Vipps coverage on public transport

The background is the recent announcement of Vipps' latest partnership with Skyss and ATB, the local public transport operators for Bergen and Trondheim. This means that Norwegians now have full Vipps coverage on public transport throughout the country.

“We have had a strong focus on simplifying the payment process for public transport. It should be convenient, easy and quick for travelers to buy their ticket. It is therefore gratifying that Norwegians can now undertake a journey across Norway without a physical wallet,” says Svendsen.

It must be easy and to be trusted

According to Statistics Norway, a record 680 million public journeys were registered in Norway in 2018. The largest provider is VY which operates most passenger train services and many bus services in Norway. They have noticed a significant passenger increase in recent years as the result of simplifying and digitizing their customer services.

“With digital payment solutions, customers are given more choice. When they do, the likelihood of them using our digital channels and buying tickets is increasing. Here, Vipps is a strong contributor, especially for first time buyers and occasional customers. Some may not have payment cards readily available when buying a ticket,” says VY Digital Customer Services Director Kristin Kjøge Jansson.

The transport company will make it easy to travel in an environmentally friendly way, and in that regard, a simple digital purchase is important.

- The most important thing is that it is simple and to be trusted. Vipps makes the threshold for traveling by public transport lower. It should not be the ticket purchase that prevents you from traveling by public transport – rather the opposite. When the digital purchase process is simple and effective, more people want to travel in an environmentally friendly manner. Today, over 70 percent of all our train tickets are sold through our digital services, concludes Jansson.

Background

Within five years the mobile wallet Vipps has reached near 75 percent market penetration. Now, nearly 100 percent of the public transport companies in Norway are accepting mobile payments as their main method of payments, transforming the way people pay for their tickets into a simple, convenient and efficient task.

Several local public transport companies, including the government-owned railway company VY, is integrating smart payment solutions such as Vipps into its own apps, making it possible for customers to pay in a much easier way. This also means that ticket purchases can happen anywhere at any time, without the need of adding payment card numbers or pin numbers.

The challenge with the adoption of digital ticket apps is most often related to payments. People have traditionally been used to buying monthly tickets and single tickets on buses, from cashiers, kiosks or in automats. To encourage people to convert from these habits towards the use of mobile apps, the key value proposition had to demonstrate ease and convenience of payments as the central part of mobile based ticket solutions

In Norway, Vipps has proven to be the fastest and simplest solution for ticket apps provided by the public transport sector. Therefore, the Norwegian public transport sector has embraced the solution as an integrated part of their mobile ticket apps. The ultimate winners are the travelling public of Norway.

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