BTS launches fare payment via Rabbit Line Pay service
Skytrain passengers no longer need to queue up to buy tickets, add value or top up fares at the counter, as all those tasks can now be done via smartphone.
Rabbit Line Pay, Rabbit Card and skytrain operator BTS on Tuesday held a soft launch for fare payment via Rabbit Line Pay with a new BTS icon in the Line app.
Rabbit Line Pay chief executive Jin-Woo Lee said that as of last month Rabbit Line Pay had 5 million users and the numbers were up 50% in less than six months, with a minimum of 10,000 additional users everyday.
"We expect that there will be at least 8 million users of Rabbit Line Pay by next year," Mr Lee said.
Through their smartphones, passengers can register for the service, add stored value, buy trips, check outstanding stored value and review their trip history.
Passengers can deduct fares from Rabbit Line Pay's e-wallet or from a credit or debit card tied to Rabbit Line Pay.
The service includes notifications before fare deduction and when trips are bought via Line, as well as when outstanding stored value is less than the fare.
Amid rapid growth in users, the number of participating merchants in Rabbit Line Pay has grown to more than 50,000. By the end of 2018, the number is expected to reach 60,000.
"We aim to increase the number of tied cards to 500,000 by the end of 2018," Mr Lee said, adding that the partnership not only offers BTS passengers greater convenience, but also acts as a catalyst in transforming Thailand into a cashless society.
He said losing a Rabbit card will not mean losing money, as users can remove the lost or stolen card via mobile immediately and protect the remaining value or trips on the phone.
Passengers can register for the full launch of the service in the first quarter of 2019, including Bangkok Bank's co-branded card.
Mr Lee said more than one Rabbit Card can be bound to Rabbit Line Pay to satisfy family users.
Also in the planning stage is the installation of a system that allows Rabbit Card merchants to be paid by Rabbit Line Pay through a swipe of tied Rabbit Cards.
The stored value and top-up service for Rabbit Line Pay's e-wallet will also be expanded through swiping of tied Rabbit Cards at top-up points like BTS ticketing offices, McDonald's and Kerry Express, providing an option for users who prefer card swiping.
Ratchanee Saensinchai, managing director of Bangkok Smartcard System Co Ltd, said Rabbit Card was launched in 2012 as a BTS ticket.
Today more than 10 million cards have been in use, Ms Ratchanee said, and the card is also accepted as a payment choice at shops.
The cooperation with Rabbit Line Pay introduces an easier BTS fare payment service to Rabbit Card holders and will help foster a cashless society, she said.
Surapong Laoha-Unya, chief operating officer of Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, said 30% of BTS passengers buy tickets at kiosks, but by December there will be more channels available.
Globally, Line Pay is available in four countries: Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.