Israel Railways has launched a pilot programme to assess the feasibility of introducing contactless card payments across the network.
The pilot programme is conducted in collaboration with Isracard, a local financial services company.
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, the two-month trials will enable a specific group of customers to pay with the credit card at the entry gates of some stations.
The pilot will involve deploying upgraded barriers at the stations to enable ‘tap and go’ payments.
The trials are carried out with new credit cards featuring an EMV contact chip to enable contactless payments.
Overall, the step will eliminate the need to purchase a ticket or use the Rav-Kav smartcard improving passenger convenience. Additionally, the move is expected to benefit the tourists, who do not possess the Rav-Kav smartcard.
Currently, the trial is underway at Tel Aviv HaHagana, Tel Aviv HaShalom, Ashdod Ad Halom, Ashkelon, Binyamina, Rehovot, NetanyaLod, Yavne East and Modi’inCenter railway stations.
Israel Railways was quoted by the publication as saying in a statement: “Israel Railways invests considerable resources in integrating advanced technologies, improving services and saving time.
“Recently, another pilot was successfully implemented, which includes automatic compensation in case of delay loaded directly to the Rav-Kav smartcard, and a real-time train crowding index is now available on the website and application.
“In the coming months, this pilot will be examined and the outcome will decide whether to expand it to other stations and the general public.”
In May this year, American Express partnered with Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in the US to provide contactless payments service to New York subway commuters.