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Shanghai Metro goes cashless with QR code and mobile payments

Shanghai Metro goes cashless with QR code and mobile payments

On
Jan 16, Shanghai Metro announced its plans to go cashless in all 389 metro
stations with QR code mobile payment supported by Alipay and China UnionPay.

According
to announcement made by
Shanghai Metro (in Chinese only), the cashless payment option will be available
in all 389 metro stations along the 17 lines of the Shanghai Metro from Jan 20
onwards.

Shanghai
Metro is the world’s largest subway system by mileage with its 700-km network. Its
daily ridership is over 11 million, according to a report
by South China Morning Post. The move to cashless payments will help passengers
save time from tickets queues and jammed entry and exit. With improvements in
rider experience, it is hoped that more people will be encouraged to take public
transport and reduce road traffic in the long run.

To
opt for the mobile payment, passengers will need to download a specific app
offered by the Shanghai Metro. Using the app, passengers can pay the transport
fare simply by scanning the QR code. The process only takes seconds. According
to China
Daily
, the Shanghai Metro mobile payment app can operate without wireless
data connection.

‍Credit: Shanghai Metro (http://service.shmetro.com/dtxw/1669.htm)

There are 2 ways that passengers could pay for
their transport fare with the new metro app, either they deposit money in their
accounts in advance or enable auto-deduction from their accounts after each journey.

At
the initial stage, the mobile payment is supported by Alipay and China UnionPay.
More mobile payment providers are likely to jump on board in the future.

In terms
of supporting facilities for the initiative, Shanghai Metro will have at least
two gates in each train station that enable the mobile payment service. The
metro operator will set up more gates to support its cashless plans in the
future.

Between
Jan 20 and the end of February, both payment providers Alipay and UnionPay are
offering promotional discounts to lure passengers to switch to the new payment
method.

According
to South China Morning Post, China now has 502 million mobile payment users.
The two largest mobile payment service providers are Alipay and WeChat. Both companies
are active in offering mobile payments in public transport systems in various
cities in China.