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The end of the legendary Navigo Pass in Paris?

Launched in 1994, the Navigo pass has now become the go-to ticket for getting around the capital. It’s a well-established habit that is set to change very soon… In fact, as more and more transport networks integrate Open Payment, it would seem that the future Grand Paris metro is on the same track. The idea is to replace the iconic Navigo pass at ticket gates with a bank card or smartphone. Zoom in on this transition that engineers from the Thales Revenue Collection Systems group are working on…

“A new technological shock

“Most travellers want simplicity, and simplicity means the telephone or the credit card”. A phrase quoted by Jean-Marc Reynaud, Managing Director of Payment Systems and Parking, on BFMTV. After Dijon in 2018, Toulouse in 2021 and Lyon in 2022, Open Payment seems to be moving up a gear in France. An increasingly popular payment method that seems to have won over the Paris network. At the moment, it is only possible to integrate your Navigo Pass on certain Android models. With the condition that the user opts out of the annual season ticket and Paris-banlieue tickets. This constraint inevitably limits the penetration of digital Navigo among Ile-de-France residents.

Today, 100% of tenders require payment by card.


A technologically complex system currently designed by the RCS Division of the Thales technology group, which will soon be sold to the Japanese Hitachi Rail Group. The latter are currently working on “gates” which will allow “to open the barrier at the same time as requesting authorization from the bank “. A system designed by Thales already deployed in Dubai, Cairo, Johannesburg, Santo Domingo, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

An effective fight against fraud

Representing a loss of revenue of 600 million euros by 2022, according to La Gazette, fraud is on the rise in France. A priority for transport networks and for Thales. Indeed, as Jean-Marc Reynaud explains, “usage is as important as technology. We bring the technology, and the use that is made of it is the operator’s experience”. A desire to comply with current issues has led the ESN to integrate artificial intelligence and 3D cameras into its gates, both capable of alerting operators to fraudulent situations.

We develop infrastructures that will be deployed over fifteen years at our customers’ sites, during which time there will be 5 or 6 upgrades. Every three years, we have a new technological shock.

Jean-Marc Reynaud, General Manager, Payment Systems and Parking.

First tests as early as 2024

This date is no coincidence. As you all know, next year Paris will host the Olympic Games. A key event during which the first tests will take place. And in spring 2024, at Orly and Saint-Denis, at the two termini of the extended line 14. This new line is part of the future Grand Paris Express. The new metro that will link the main places of life and activity in the suburbs without passing through Paris. Undoubtedly “one of the biggest projects” for Thales in terms of ticketing systems, which will include 500 machines and 1,200 high-tech gates with a sleek new design. This pharaonic project will require Thales to recruit around a hundred people, who will join the thousands of Thales RCS employees.