Tips for Efficient Metro Commute in Chengdu
Friends of mine came bearing good news: Commuting on public transportation has become even easier. In Chengdu, any owner of any NFC-equipped mobile phone may travel around without a transport card, because "swiping the phone" will allow commuters to ride the Chengdu Metro and certain bus routes within the city of Chengdu.
Actually, by the end of June 2018, the Chengdu Tianfu Tong Company already laid the groundworks for the establishment of mobile payment system for the Chengdu Metro, and renovation of all turnstiles and operating environment of all relevant software in the entire Metro network, thus fully realizing payment via QR code scanning and payment by NFC-enabled mobile phone in the subway system.
So, how does one go about using the fabled "phone swipe" function to commute around on the Chengdu Metro?
Let us now take a look at two ways to ride the subway the easy way!
Tianfu Tong Card on the Mobile Phone (NFC Payment)
No need to open up any app, just use your phone like a card and place the device next to a turnstile's card-reader to complete the payment process and be granted expedited entry. NFC transmission is sensitive and speedy, and is one of the most efficient commute payment methods available right now.
1.Check to see if your mobile phone has NFC function, and whether your phone model is on the list of compatible models published by China Mobile, which you could inquire with the service provider. NFC payment for access is only applicable for phones with NFC function at the current stage, but more phone payment functions will become available later.
PS: Apple Inc has not yet opened the iPhone's NFC payment function to the Chinese public transportation sector, thus iPhone users cannot use NFC payment for commuting as of now.
2.Other than having the right type of phone, you also need an NFC-SIM card.
At present, service providers offer free card exchange service, so you may consult and process your situation at China Telecom, China Mobile or China Unicom locations. Switching to an NFC-SIM card does not change your phone number.
3.After switching to a new SIM card, download and open the Tianfu Tong mobile app, then click on "Mobile Tianfu Tong" to apply for a card. Then follow the on-screen instructions to download the relevant NFC component, and in a few moments the card registration would complete.
PS: At present, switching to a new card at a physical location or applying for a new card online are both free of charge.
4.After linking your Tianfu Tong Card via the Tianfu Tong app, top up the card online, and you may begin using the NFC payment function. Top-up method: Use debit card with UnionPay function, Alipay or WeChat Wallet.
How to Use
1.Just keep the NFC function running in your phone. There is no need for internet access, no need to unlock your phone or open up any mobile app.
2.Place your phone near a turnstile's reader for the machine to sense your phone and deduct payment for access.
Tianfu Tong Mobile App QR Code Scan
Unlike the "phone swipe" method, the Tianfu Tong QR code may be used on phones without NFC functionality.
1.Download the Tianfu Tong mobile app
2.Open the Tianfu Tong mobile app, then click on "Ride QR Code"
3.Click on "Real-name Authentication"
4.Fill in your personal info
5.Top up your personal account to complete the process. Top-up method: Use debit card with UnionPay function, Alipay or WeChat Wallet.
How to Use
1.Open the Tianfu Tong mobile app, then click on "Ride QR Code"
2.Place QR code at a turnstile's reader for the machine to sense your phone and deduct payment for access.
After mastering these two methods, there is no need to bring a physical card to travel on the Chengdu Metro. Just wait for the "beep" and stroll through the gate!
Note: Get the latest commuting info and check out bus routes and subway routes that have enabled these convenient payment features by choosing "Commute" on the front page of the Tianfu Tong mobile app and then selecting "Commute Guide".