‘Our customers should be able to pay for their tickets simply wherever they are and whatever the time of day.’

Since April 2019, it has been possible to pay in the SBB app, at SBB.ch and at ticket machines with TWINT. Alberto Bottini, Head of Sales, Services and Marketing for SBB Passenger Transport, discusses this move in an interview.

Mr Bottini, how do SBB customers currently buy and pay for their tickets? What has changed in the last five or ten years?
In recent years, there has been a strong trend towards self-service. To begin with, ticket machines were available to meet this need, with online ticket sales having gradually become established in the meantime. As in many other areas of our everyday lives, smartphones have of course also become ever more important for buying tickets. Today, we now only sell one in every ten tickets at a counter. Our customers primarily still come to our travel centres for advice.

We launched the national market test for automatic ticketing in autumn 2018 with 'EasyRide'. This solution sees travellers check in on their smartphone upon boarding a train and then check out again when they reach their destination. The costs for the journey are calculated on the basis of GPS data and charged to the customer via the payment option saved in the SBB Preview app.

What is important to SBB customers with respect to payments?
The key aspect is a simple process – both with respect to buying and paying for tickets. Our customers have very different needs. We try to take these into account with different payment options. With TWINT, we can now also offer ever more important mobile payments in cooperation with a Swiss partner.

Since April 2019, it has been possible to pay in the SBB app, at SBB.ch and at ticket machines with TWINT. What do you believe are the benefits for SBB customers?
Our customers should be able to pay for their tickets and subscriptions wherever they are, at any time and in a simple manner. Those customers who do not have a credit card but nevertheless do not want to miss out on the advantages of digital payments also benefit from TWINT.

How will we pay for our tickets in Switzerland in ten years’ time?
The payment process itself will increasingly take place in the background, meaning it will become even easier for our customers to get their tickets in an accessible and convenient manner. In the digital channels, in particular, it is extremely important to structure the payment process in a fashion that runs as smoothly as possible but still ensures transparency. It is therefore our objective to further develop the payment process accordingly with our partners in the area of payment transactions.

Do you use TWINT yourself? If so, what for?
Yes, when shopping; primarily at Coop and Migros as well as online with Digitec.