SJ Railways uses NFC technology with microchips implanted into passengers' hands as alternative to traditional train tickets

Swedish rail company SJ Railways is now accepting tickets via microchips implanted into the hands of its commuters. By using near-field communication (NFC)—the same technology used by Apple Pay and Android Pay—commuters no longer need a physical or digital ticket to be able to ride on the company’s trains.

Each SJ Railway customer’s microchip is given a membership number, which can be updated through the SJ Railways app on a smartphone. Once a microchipped rider gets onto the train, he or she can simply put his or her hand out to be scanned by the conductor.

While SJ Railways is certainly ahead of the curve by making its app compatible with the microchip, the company itself does not supply the microchips, and the feature does not apply to all customers even if they do have a microchip. Customers must not only come pre-chipped but they must also be members of SJ Railways’ loyalty program in order to use the microchip tickets. However, this does not seem to yield any problems because Sweden appears to be jumping right on board with microchipping; according to BBC, some 3,000 people in Sweden are already microchipped.

While there are many interesting and exciting possibilities with microchipping, the technology is not yet perfect. Some people are skeptical of the security that it provides concerning their own personal information. One such problem presented itself during the early stages when the scanner displayed some users’ Linkedin profiles instead of the ticket information. This was remedied, but for some people this sort of imperfection leads them to believe that microchipping technology is either not yet perfect, or simply not for them.

SJ Railways

Swedish rail company SJ Railways is now accepting tickets via microchips implanted into the hands of its commuters. By using near-field communication (NFC)—the same technology used by Apple Pay and Android Pay—commuters no longer need a physical or digital ticket to be able to ride on the company’s trains.

Each SJ Railway customer’s microchip is given a membership number, which can be updated through the SJ Railways app on a smartphone. Once a microchipped rider gets onto the train, he or she can simply put his or her hand out to be scanned by the conductor.