Swedish Commuters Using Implanted RFID Chips To Pay For Travel



Swedish commuters are voluntarily committing themselves to implanted RFID chips, but the rail operator is a willing conspirator. This technology will expand rapidly around the world. ⁃ TN Editor

SJ Rail is not offering to microchip people itself, and passengers wanting to use the service must already have the futuristic technology.

Mircrochip implants are not new in Sweden, and an estimated 20,000 people already have them, using the devices to swipe in and out of the office, and even pay for food.

Speaking to the Sun Online, Stephen Ray, press officer at SJ, said that the idea was put forward by a technology start-up in Stockholm called Epicenter, where many of the staff are already implanted with microchips.

While the scheme is currently only available in Sweden, the country’s travel system uses the same Near Field Communication (NFC) as contactless bank cards, and London’s oyster cards, suggesting it could be used further afield one day.

The futuristic project has not been without its hiccups, and has also generated concerns over passenger privacy.
One flaw in the system meant that rail staff would sometimes be shown a passenger’s LinkedIn profile instead of their ticket information.

But Mr Ray reassured that the problem was quickly resolved, saying: ‘That’s why we call it a trial.’
Peter Dahlqvist, Head of SJ Business Sales said: ‘SJ is already one of Sweden’s most digital companies, so this new project could be started up very quickly.

‘The microchip ticket is a good example of how we are happy to try out new ideas alongside customers and help to force the pace of digital development.’

There are currently no plans to bring the scheme to the UK.

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