Hoera! You can now use your phone or bank card to check in on Dutch trains

Leave that OV-chipkaart at home! Starting next Tuesday, train passengers in the Netherlands will now be able to check in and out using just their mobile phone or bank card. 🤳🏼

Whilst contactless payment on Dutch transport has been in the works for a while now, this is the first time it’ll be widely accepted across the Netherlands.

Enter OVpay

A new check-in and -out system, OVpay is here to make rail travel all the more convenient.

Simply scan your mobile phone or debit/credit card (yes, the Netherlands is finally getting more credit card friendly! 🥳) against the card reader on the gate, and whoosh, you’re through.

Several companies have already adopted OVpay, including the NS, Arriva, RET, and GVB (among many others).

What should I know about contactless payment on Dutch transport?

We might be stating the obvious here, but it’s important for your bank card or mobile phone to be capable of making contactless payments.

According to the NS, when you’re using your debit card or mobile payment app, you may only travel in second class. Unfortunately, you’ll also be paying the full rates. 💸

To travel in first class, or to nab yourself a korting (discount), you’ll still have to either buy a train ticket or use your OV-chipkaart.

(Oké, we guess you may want to hang on to that OV-chipkaart after all!)

Does it work? The trials say yes!

This system has already been successfully trialled along various routes over the past few years.

In fact, a whopping three thousand people took part in the NS’ last pilot a few months ago.

If thousands of people over several years gave it the go-ahead, that seems like a fair stamp of approval to us! 😉

What do you think of contactless payment on Dutch transport? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Feature Image:NS Beeldbank
Liana Pereira
Liana Pereira
Primarily fuelled by cheese and lots (LOTS!) of coffee, Liana is a Burgher from sunny Sri Lanka that’s in the midst of wrapping up her linguistics degree. While writing will *always* have her heart, she also likes travelling, dogs, and heavy metal. As an observer of all things weirdly and wonderfully Dutch since 2018, she’s thrilled to have the ‘write’ opportunity to help others feel more at home here.


  1. Why don’t they just add the capability for the OV chipkaarts to be used with NFC on phones? It should be able to be added to the wallet apps for contactless payment just as a debit/credit card, or maybe have its own app for it. This way you can also order a card digitally and directly use it from your phone without waiting for a physical card to arrive, and also use your discount subscriptions. A lot of countries already have this for a long time, heck in some countries you can even order a credit card digitally and start using it in a matter of seconds. I find it hard to understand the tech gap the Netherlands have in such trivial things.

  2. Can you book a train seat online in the Netherlands? I have a terrible time trying to pay for anything in the Netherlands as I have an Irish bank issued debit card which is not recognised (although no problem using it at the ATM to withdraw cash) and my Visa credit card is also declined at most shops. Especially the supermarkets are a nightmare. I spend a lot of time in the Netherlands as my son and his family live there and indeed my husband is Dutch although we haven’t lived there ourselves. We only seem to use cash when visiting the Netherlands! In Ireland I use Apple Pay on my phone for debit or credit card payments for everything from a big grocery shop to a cup of coffee. Also other EU countries accept our credit cards, we were in the Azores on hols and it was like paying at home, no problem anywhere. I see many comments on Reddit and elsewhere about the Netherlands needing to catch up with the rest of the EU! Even In Amsterdam a few years ago for a long weekend we had to get our friend to buy us OV cards as we couldn’t buy one for cash or with our Irish cards!
    Otherwise I absolutely love the Netherlands and especially wish that Ireland had such good cycling infrastructure!


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