One year after Android, Paris Region users who have iPhone will be able to buy, validate and top up their RATP transport tickets and Navigo passes from their smartphones from February 2021.
Until now, only Android smartphone users with NFC technology were able to test the dematerialized version of the Navigo Pass. Nevertheless, according to the Parisian, Apple, the region and Ile-de-France Mobilités have managed to find common ground. Indeed, Apple would have agreed to open the NFC chip of its smartphones after months of battles. As a result, the iPhone will be able to catch up with Android smartphones which, for some models, have a head start on the issue. However, the information has not yet been officially confirmed by either the RATP or IDF Mobilités, but the latter has retweeted the tweet from Le Parisien mentioning the article.
Why did it take so long for the IPhone ?
Because of two conflicts : financial and technical disagreements that arose over months of negotiation.
The first problem was financial. Apple wanted to apply a commission on the sale of each package, up to 30% for a one-time purchase and 15% for a recurring subscription. Requirement which was categorically refused by Valérie Pécresse, president of the Ile-de-France region, especially since the Android manufacturers have accepted a collaboration without financial compensation. She also states: “Apple wanted us to pay for this service, when the other operators agreed to take it over. They committed themselves unconditionally to this partnership. The risk, if we pay, is to find ourselves bound hand and foot with Apple. What will happen if they want to change their rates and we don’t agree? ». So it would seem that the pressure exerted by the Ile-de-France region has succeeded in making the American giant fail.
The second problem was of a technical nature. Indeed, Apple did not want to open its NFC chip to other applications and technologies than that of its own services. Because of this constraint, the Navigo service had to apply for a certificate from Apple beforehand. However, the technology used by Vianavigo, notably for the purchase part, is provided by a third party company, Wizway Solutions. As a result, technical developments, such as the adaptation of all validation equipment, would have had to be carried out. Nevertheless, it would appear that IDF Mobilités was able to find common ground with Apple, so that the latter finally decided to allow the use of its NFC chip by other services.
A positive outcome for the Navigo Pass
After a partial opening of the Navigo Pass tests on smartphones since September 2019, the owners of the Apple brand will be able to manage, validate and book their tickets directly from their smartphones from February 2021.
In addition to the obviously practical aspect, since this technology works even with a telephone switched off, this advance is also part of the desire to reduce its environmental footprint, in particular by reducing the use of paper, which is then scattered all over the streets of the Ile-de-France region. However, none of these players has officially confirmed the terms of the various agreements and concessions made by Apple.