Network West Midlands integrates its transit card with Google Pay

A West Midlands Metro tram stands at the Grand Central stop in Birmingham
ON BOARD: A West Midlands Metro tram stands at the Grand Central stop in Birmingham

UK regional transportation operator Network West Midlands is piloting a new service that lets its Swift transit card holders store their cards in Google Pay, enabling Android NFC phone owners to tap on to West Midlands Metro trams without needing to first open an app or select their Swift card.

The transit operator is just the third in the world to integrate with Google Pay, following the service’s introduction on the Las Vegas Monorail in March 2018 and rollout on Portland, Oregon based TriMet’s Hop Fastpass in April 2018.

“The Swift on Mobile app brings metro tickets direct to your phone,” Network West Midlands says.

“Simply select, pay and activate your ticket to Google Pay. Once you have activated your ticket, there is no need to open up either the Swift on Mobile app or Google Pay. You will just need to wake up your phone when you’re ready to go, like a Swift card, just hold on the conductor’s reader till you hear the beep.”

“You must ensure that you have sufficient battery charge on your phone for the whole duration of your travel,” the transit operator warns.

“Phones that do not read due to insufficient charge will not be accepted for travel and you will be required to pay for the journey regardless of any available ticket in your Google Pay.”

“We’ve started this as a pilot, with a small range of tickets just on tram,” it adds. “But we’re working to develop it for other transport modes to cover the full ticket range.”