The Navigo pass arrives on iPhone: the latest information on metro tickets in Apple Wallet

After several years of negotiations, Apple and Île-de-France Mobilités should deploy the Navigo pass and metro tickets on iPhone and Apple Watch by the end of spring. Available titles, integration with Apple Wallet, release date… Here are all the latest details.

In the secret laboratories of Cupertino, California, engineers are currently working on… RATP gantries. Yes, you read correctly, “zero defect culture” of Apple goes so far that the brand asked the Île-de-France region to send it magnetic terminals. Apple can thus refine the dematerialization of the Navigo pass on iPhone, a few weeks before a historic launch.

In October 2022, during an interview with Numerama, Île-de-France Mobilités announced that it had reached an agreement with Apple to dematerialize public transport on iPhone. Two years later, the integration of the Navigo pass into Apple Wallet is imminent.

Tickets and subscriptions in Apple Wallet and in the IdF Mobilités application

In February 2022, when IDF Mobilités announced that it had signed a partnership with Apple, everyone imagined that the Californian company would want to control 100% of the user experience. This will not entirely be the case.

To buy metro tickets, iPhone owners will have two options:

  • In the app Apple Maps (Apple Wallet), where bank cards, loyalty cards and other public transport cards are housed, it will be possible to purchase single tickets, notebooks (x10) or day passes. The only payment method offered will, unsurprisingly, be Apple Pay.
  • In the app IDF Mobilités, to be installed from the App Store, you can purchase weekly or monthly subscriptions (as well as special titles, such as anti-pollution packages). Several payment methods will be offered, with the possibility of adding your generated pass to Apple Wallet.
In Apple Maps, you can view all your latest routes or recharge your badge.
In San Francisco, Apple Wallet allows you to recharge your Clipper card, the local equivalent of Navigo. Travel history is also available. // Source: Numerama

Regardless of the method used, the brand will still charge “remuneration” for each virtual card activation. The arrival of the Navigo pass on an iPhone is the result of a partnership between the two companies, and not a solitary development of Île-de-France Mobilités (contrary to what some claim, it has nothing to do with with the European DMA).

Will Navigo Pass work with a turned off iPhone?

The iPhone has a reserve mode, which allows it to use several functions even when it is turned off. It will be operated by the Navigo pass, which will remain accessible even in the event of a battery failure. All you have to do is pass the iPhone over the terminal to unlock the gate.

The Navigo pass also on Apple Watch

What about the Apple Watch? As in other countries where Apple integrates the public transport card into Wallet, it will be possible to use your watch to take public transport. Samsung also offers the same thing with its Galaxy Watches.

The only uncertainty: will the titles be shared between an iPhone and a Watch? A priori, this will not be the case. In other countries, you have to choose between iPhone and Watch, with the possibility of transferring all of your titles or a current subscription. Ile-de-France residents equipped with an iPhone and a Watch will probably have to make a choice.

Galaxy Watch // Source: IdFMGalaxy Watch // Source: IdFM
The Samsung Galaxy Watch also allows you to generate a virtual Navigo pass. // Source: IdFM

Not all titles will be available

As on Android, there will be no annual or Liberté+ plans at launch. Regional tickets, to go beyond certain zones, should also be excluded from the system.

It is also possible that the suction function, which allows you to copy the contents of a physical card to an iPhone (available in Hong Kong for example, with the Octopus card), is not immediately available (it will therefore be necessary to exhaust your existing tickets before switching to the iPhone).

The Olympic Games in the viewfinder

For Apple, this launch is important. The brand cannot afford to be the only one not to support public transport in Paris, when millions of tourists will go there for the Olympic Games this summer. As in other countries, Apple should integrate into its application Apple Plans public transport prices, with the possibility of purchasing tickets before starting a route.

When will Navigo Pass be available on iPhone?

In 2022, Île-de-France Mobilités announced the launch of the Navigo pass on iPhone during the “June-September 2023” window. Administrative problems got the better of this slot, with the Olympic Games now in the crosshairs. Finalization of the system should take place at the end of May 2024, with a release in the following weeks.

When exactly? On June 10, 2024, Apple will organize its major annual conference, WWDC. It is possible that the brand will take the opportunity to announce that it will offer metro tickets in Paris during the Olympics. Île-de-France Mobilités undoubtedly has a contract with the brand for a joint announcement, after several years of waiting.

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