Apple has reached an agreement to bring support for the Paris Metro system’s Smart Navigo cards to Wallet, allowing users to roam Parisian public transport with just an iPhone or Apple Watch, according to a Le Parisien report.
After talks with Île-de-France-Mobilités, France’s transport authority that coordinates the different transport companies operating in Paris, Apple is said to have reached an agreement for the Paris transport network’s Smart Navigo card to work on iPhone or Apple Watch, including buses and the metro system, from February 2021. Neither Apple or Île-de-France-Mobilités has confirmed this as of yet.
Smart Navigo, the city’s digital mobile transit card, was launched in September 2019, but its success was mired by the need for direct secure authentication with reader gates. This is also why Apple Pay cannot currently be implemented to pay for travel on readers, since it would skirt Navigo’s authentication.
Smart Navigo currently works on some Android smartphones with chips for secure authentication and NFC, but it has reportedly been unable to work on iPhones due to Apple’s ring-fencing of the Secure Enclave and NFC, which would provide the necessary authentication and transmission of data.
From February, users will apparently be able to add a Smart Navigo card to Apple Wallet, enabling an iPhone or Apple Watch to facilitate travel throughout the city. Users will also be able to pre-pay for metro tickets with Apple Pay, including a weekly or monthly pass, and add it to their Navigo card in Wallet. It is also said to support Apple’s Express Transit Mode.
There have been reports that the need for secure authentication with Smart Navigo will be eliminated at some point in 2021, allowing Apple Pay to be used directly to traverse public transport networks as it does in London or New York, the latter of which recently completed its rollout of Apple Pay support.