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02.10.2019

Busting myths about FAIRTIQ

We are sometimes surprised by the misconceptions surrounding FAIRTIQ, such as how we operate or how our app works. We’ve gathered the top myths spread about FAIRTIQ and fact-checked them: 

User perspective:

Myth 1: If I forget to check out, FAIRTIQ will overcharge me for trips.

Forgetting to check out when arriving at our destination is easily done and can happen to all of us. We’re in a rush to meet our waiting friends or family, or there is shopping to be done, or we simply have other things on our mind. That’s why FAIRTIQ sends you a message (make sure to enable push notifications on our app) reminding you to check out. 

If you don’t see the message, our algorithms, which are getting better all the time, automatically figure out what your last stop was. 

And if we should get it wrong, our customer care team has you covered. They quickly make the necessary modifications to the journey and refund what was overcharged. You can get in touch straight through the app up to one year after your journey to claim for any overcharged tickets. 

Fact: FAIRTIQ does not overcharge you for forgetting to check out. In fact, we do our utmost to ensure passengers pay only for the service they have used. No more, no less. 

If you want to find out more about the work of the FAIRTIQ customer care team, you should check out this post

Myth 2: FAIRTIQ makes money by selling passenger data to third parties.

“Data is the new gold” is the ubiquitous proposition that excites some and leaves others concerned about privacy and security. Make no mistake: FAIRTIQ uses data generated via its users to calculate the trips and charge the tickets correctly. We also aggregate anonymised trip data to improve the product and make FAIRTIQ even more user-friendly. In order to further improve public transport provision, we do share aggregated and anonymised passenger data with the public transport operators, but only with the users’ prior permission.

We do not, however, sell user data to any third parties. Users will never receive annoying adverts from third-party companies or anything else via the app. FAIRTIQ fully complies with EU GDPR rules and Swiss Data Protection regulations. 

Fact: While FAIRTIQ operates a data-driven business model, we would never break users’ trust by processing their data for anything else than making public transport easy to use. 

To find out more about data protection at FAIRTIQ, read our CTOs blog post on privacy. 

Partner perspective:

Myth 3: FAIRTIQ is aiming to radically disrupt the public transport market and own the touchpoint between public transport operators (PTOs) and passengers.

FAIRTIQ believes that public transport should be as easy as possible to use. We are a start-up, not an outside big-tech giant that wants to control the PTO-passenger relationship. As an independent European-Swiss company, we believe in providing local solutions to local needs. Without three visionary Swiss PTOs — Transport Public Fribourgeois (TPF), Luzerner Verkehrsbetriebe (VBL), and Rhätische Bahn (RhB) — who shared our goals, FAIRTIQ would have never been launched. 

Did you know that many of us at FAIRTIQ used to work for PTOs? Our team has almost 150 years’ collective experience of working for or with PTOs! Our model is to operate in partnership with PTOs, and our app is one tool (among many) that supports PTOs run modern and passenger-focused public transport services. Furthermore, we share the same goals of getting more people to use public transport and make more sustainable travel choices. 

Fact: FAIRTIQ is not aiming to disrupt how the public transport market works, or own passenger touchpoints. We want to work in partnership with local PTOs to make public transport easier to use. 

There has always been, and there always will be, ticketing fraud and fare evasion: counterfeit paper tickets, fare dodging and taking the risk that you’ll not be caught by a ticket inspector. Of course, there probably be a few travellers who will still get away with evasion and fraud, as ticket inspections can never be anything more than spot checks. 

While automatic ticketing may open up new fare evasion opportunities, it also allows for the development of new methods to combat fraud. FAIRTIQ takes these issues extremely seriously — this is why we have a dedicated team who constantly work on improving fraud detection systems and FAIRTIQ’s responses. 

So far we have implemented multiple technical solutions to reduce the opportunity for fraud. These include the integration of moving elements in the ticket display to prevent ticket tampering; check-in and check-out only at stations and stops (not while travelling at speed) to reduce undercharging; detect wrong claims for discount cards or season tickets the user does not actually own. By looking at the whole dataset of FAIRTIQ users, our algorithms are trained to spot anomalies in user behaviour more efficiently than the most seasoned ticket inspector can. 

Fact: FAIRTIQ does not allow users to commit fraud and evasion unchecked. Quite the contrary: it is in our interest to maintain our partners’ trust by making the system more robust, warning users who display abnormal or suspicious behaviour, and working with inspectors to improve fraud detection. 

Anyone who breaks our terms and conditions will be blocked from using the FAIRTIQ app. 

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