A Swedish rail company is trialing-letting passengers use biometric chips as tickets.

An e-ticket was once seen as cutting edge, now advancements bring us to a new era.  A Swedish rail company is offering passengers the option of implanting a biometric chip into their hand in-place of a paper train ticket.


SJ is the first travel company in the world that lets people to use this innovative method of technology.



The chip has the same technology as Oyster cards and contactless bankcards. Conductors activate the chip by scanning the passenger’s hand.  This service is applicable only to those who have the biometric implant.


SJ is not offering the chip to the public yet. Around 2000 Swedes have had the surgical implant to date, most of which are employed in the tech industry.  The company expects about 200 people to take up the microchip method, but users must be signed up as a loyalty program member to access the service.



Daily Customers buy tickets by logging onto the website or mobile app, and their membership number, which is the reference code for the ticket is linked to their chip.


Even though there are some problems with the system, it is believed that it will be solved in the near future.

According to SJ,  there are mixed reactions to the idea, which largely are positive but some security issues have been raised. “Also some people are concerned with the privacy issue and that is something we take seriously. We came up with using the membership number which doesn’t tell anyone anything – a third party couldn’t make anything of it even if they got hold of it.” Says SJ’s spokesperson.


SJ added, “people should be more concerned with their mobile phone and credit card that they are using and they are already being tracked in many different ways other than a microchip.”


SJ says, they are not the only company that using this technology.  The  Epicenter company gives employees the option of having a chip implanted in order to access the offices. A chain of Swedish gyms lets clients use their chip as a membership card.


Is it the future of how we travel or pay for anything?  Maybe not, the way thing work with digitalization speed, anything can happen in less than a year.


As with facial recognition built-in some smartphones, the next step may be to use as a card to travel or purchased or check in and check out.


"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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