New payment method to take Shanghai Metro popular among passengers

Paying metro trips by scanning a QR code has proved to be quite popular among commuters.

Paying metro trips by scanning a QR code has proved to be quite popular among commuters as data from the Metro operators showed almost 40,000 people have tapped their phones to pass the turnstiles as of 10:30am on Saturday, the first day of its launch.

Shanghai Railway Station, People’s Square Station and Xujiahui Station were the top 3 stations where passengers used the new payment method the most.

Shanghai Daily reporter went to Hongqiao Railway Station at 8:30am and found many people were still lining up at the ticket vending machines. A man surnamed Qin from Shandong Province said he saw the poster promoting the new payment method near the machine, but he did not have the app in his phone.

“It would be much more convenient if I can directly use my Alipay app to pay for the ticket,” said Qin.

“It saved me some time,” said a woman surnamed Jin from Beijing. "And I don't have to prepare coins anymore."

While many people were fond of the new payment method, problems remained.

A woman surnamed Song was concerned that turnstiles with QR scanner were not enough. "I saw only two at the entrance," said Song. "I can't imagine how they could handle passengers during rush hours on working days. It would be a mess."

At People’s Square Station, a passenger Hu Xianzhe tried to scan the code with his Huawei Mate 7 failed. The staffer nearby explained because of some technical reasons, the new payment method so far does not support phones with modules older than Bluetooth 4.0.

“Passengers must turn on their Bluetooth while scanning,” said Jin Tao, general manager of the Metro's information management center. “This is in consideration of information security.”

Jin said all the QR code will automatically match the Bluetooth on the phone, which means people who copy a code from other’s phone will not be able to pass the turnstile.

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