Known as ‘downtown Switzerland’, Zurich has been demonstrating to the world that contactless can work just as well for rural enterprises as it does for major urban organizations.

Way back in 2003, along with the cities of Basle and Berne, it played host to the rollout of the LEGIC Ciné-Card, which was designed to reduce ticket queues at theatres and cinemas. In addition, the contactless cards could be used for loyalty and discounts.

The multi-city approach continued in 2007 when Switzerland-based card issuer and acquirer Aduno Group unveiled a three-month contactless payment pilot in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano, paving the way for a wider country-wide rollout. The program was launched at a McDonald’s restaurant in Zurich with the backing of scheme partners Alaric and MasterCard. In the same year, On Track Innovations, Hypercom and Commtrain Card Solutions carried out what was claimed to be the first Swiss technology-standard EMV contactless transaction in Europe, in Stadelhofen, Zurich.

But it’s not only Swiss cities that are trying out the technology. The Zurich region has a tradition of unmanned farm shops which rely on honesty boxes to collect payment for produce, so in a major technological leap forward in 2009, a farm shop in the area introduced a self-service ‘touch ’n’ pay’ system. Around 80 shoppers were given Nokia 6131 NFC cell phones which act as an electronic shopping basket, till and access control key. These enabled them to access the shop, scan RFID price tags and pay for purchases. Although it wasn’t a huge scheme, it did highlight how the technology can be applied successfully to even the smallest of businesses. The project was developed by Nexperts with support from e24, Six Multi Solutions, Winter AG, LEGIC, Sea, Transformer, Alliera and Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Category Number


Point of sale terminals/readers deployed

1-10 1
Different types of contactless device 2


Number of contactless devices

101-500 20
Number of applications 3


Total number of service providers involved

20 20
Number of banks in partnership 0


Number of operators in partnership

0 0
Number of merchant locations 1-10


Transit operators in scheme

0 0
Parking sector 0



0 0
Entertainment sector – football, leisure, congress etc 1


Public sector activities – libraries, schools etc

0 0
Smart poster environments in place 0


Marketing campaigns rolled out

4 4
Length of time project implemented 25 months+


ROI – future potential

3 3
Green credentials 11-50


Social equality

0 0




  1. Rural enterprise schemes farm out contactless technology in Zurich « Contactless & NFC City League - December 28, 2010

    […] here to see the League Table on […]

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