Seoul considers wireless automatic payment system for public transport

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : January 14, 2019, 18:40 | Updated : January 14, 2019, 18:40

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- Seoul, crowded with millions of commuters, will consider introducing a new digital payment system that needs no payment cards in public transportation.

Currently, some 4.2 million Seoulites use city buses to commute daily and they mainly use transportation card to receive discount benefits when they transfer from a bus line to another or to a subway line. Commuters should tag their cards onto a near-frequency-communication (NFC) system which covers a distance of less than 10 centimeters (0.3 feet).

The Seoul city government said in a statement Monday that it would consider setting up a wireless transfer payment system using Bluetooth technology and beacon-type sensors capable of recognizing smartphones. After a feasibility study, a test project will be launched in 2020.

Beacon type sensors are widely used in many areas and have a wide communication distance covering up to 70 meters. Starbucks coffee shops in South Korea uses beacons to receive orders through smartphones. 
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