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FAQ - Travel on the metro by paying with your contactless card 

Paying for the metro with your contactless card is quick and easy. In this page you can find the answers to frequently asked questions, so that you can learn more and get used to the new system.

Three tips before you go

  • Register your card in the reserved area of Atm website to see the charges for your journeys.
  • Always touch in at the start of your journey and touch out at the end, including when the exit in some stations is free.   
  • Every metro station has at least two contactless readers to exit. If one is out of order, try using the other one.

1) Contactless and new Fare System: what does it change?
The new fares in force since 15th July 2019 are also applied by contactless payment system (including the 2€ fare which is valid for travel within zones Mi1-Mi3).

ON THE METRO
For journeys within zones Mi1-Mi3, the system applies

  • the standard fare for 2€, if journeys are made within 90 minutes (compared to the previous fare system, the new ticket is valid for several journeys on the metro within 90 minutes)
  • the daily fare for 7€ after 4 journeys as usual

For journeys on line M2 beyond zones Mi1-Mi3
You can use your contactless card to travel on the entire metro network. However, for travel beyond zones Mi1-Mi3 such as between Cernusco Sul Naviglio and Gessate on line M2, the system will apply the fare for every single journey made in this area at every metro station entrance and the daily fare after 4 journeys as usual.
We apologize. We’re working to extend the new fare system to the whole metro network.

ON THE SURFACE NETWORK
Contactless payment is currently valid for journeys which start on the metro and continue within zones Mi1-Mi3 of the surface network.

How does it work?
It is very easy:

  1. at the entry station, touch the POS reader with your card in order to open the turnstile and enter the metro;
  2. at the exit station, do the same in order to exit.

WARNING! Remember to touch out even in the few stations where you don’t need to validate your ticket or pass to exit. 

What happens if I do not swipe my contactless card to exit the station?
The right fare will be charged only if you touch in at the start and touch out at the end of your journey. 
If you don't touch out, the system can't work out the right fare and will charge you the maximum fare.

Do I need to touch out to complete my journey even in the stations where the exit is free? 
Of course, because the system calculates the right fare only after you touch out to exit.
If you don't touch out, the transaction is still pending and the maximum fare will be charged (read the previous answer to learn more).

What happens if I use a different card to enter and to exit?
The system calculates the right fare if the same card is used to enter and to exit. If you use a different card, the system will apply:

  1. a maximum fare on the card that you used to enter (but not to exit)
  2. a 5 euro fare on the card you used to exit (but not to enter)

In other words, the system can't tell where you've travelled from or to, so it will assume that two separate journeys have been made and both will be incomplete. 

What happens if, on the first try, the turnstile at the entrance does not open?
Check the colour of the reader’s signal. If it is red, it could be related to one of the cases described in the question Why does my card not work?.

Do I need to subscribe to the service?
No, there is no need to subscribe. However, we suggest you register your card in the reserved area of Atm website to check the charges for your journeys.

Can I use the same card to pay the journey for the other people travelling with me?
No
. Currently each card allows one passenger’s journey at a time.

2) How much the ticket costs

Are there commissions?
No, no commissions or extra costs. You only pay the cost of your journey.

How is the ticket price calculated?
The system calculates the fare after the card is used at the exit station, starting from the entry station.

What is the advantage of paying via contactless rather than buying an ordinary ticket?
The greatest advantage is the fact that you cannot be fined for a wrong ticket any more (like when, for example, you use a urban ticket between Milan’s centre and a suburban station – Assago, Rho, Sesto FS).

3) Cheapest fare

What does “cheapest fare” mean?
The system calculates the journeys made over an entire day and applies the cheapest fare.

EXAMPLE:

  • if you make one journey, the single fare is applied
  • if you make several journeys within the time limit allowed (90 minutes) and within zones Mi1-Mi3, the single fare is still applied
  • if you make 4 journeys, instead of applying the sum of 4 single fares (8 euros), the system applies the daily fare (7 euros)

From my first journey, how long does the daily fare last?
24 solar hours from your first journey.

Does this mean that, in order to be charged for the daily fare, I can make all the journeys I want within 24 hours since the first one?
Yes, but each journey must take place within the time limit provided by the fare.

EXAMPLE N.1 – SINGLE URBAN TICKET

  • If you travel between two stations in the urban area (Cordusio and Bicocca) the Mi1-Mi3 fare will be applied. Thus the time limit will be 90 minutes.
  • This means that, if you continue your journey on a surface line, you can travel for no more than 90 minutes since you entered Cordusio station.

EXAMPLE N.2 – SUBURBAN TICKET

  • If you travel from Gessate to Cordusio, the Mi-1-Mi6 fare will be applied. Thus the time limit will be 135 minutes.
  • This means that, if you continue your journey on a surface line, you can travel for no more than 135 minutes since you entered Gessate station.

Is the cheapest fare also applied on a weekly or monthly basis?
No. At the moment the system only calculates the cheapest fare on a daily basis (over 24 hours from the first journey).

4) Checking charges

I’ve been charged for a journey I didn’t make on that day. Is that correct?
Yes, it is correct. The charges are applied a few days after the date of the journey. Please read the answer to the question When and How are extra charges applied? to learn more.

When is the payment charged?
The cost of the ticket is charged three working days after the date of the journey. If you don’t travel in the next few days, any other charges could be extra costs related to your last journey.

Where can I see the charges?
In the reserved area of Atm website (you have to sign up).  Alternatively, you can see the charges on your bank account. The transaction is described as “Cless Ticket Atm Milano”.

5) Extra or uncertain charges

What’s an extra charge?
It is a charge added to the cost of the ticket you should have paid.

Why are extra charges applied?
If you don't touch in and out, the system can't tell where you've travelled from or to. Here are three possible cases:

CASE 1. You touched your card to enter but not to exit.
CASE 2. You used two different devices or contactless cards to touch in and out.

In these cases, the system will apply a maximum fare based on the journey you would have made if you had reached the furthest exit station. The maximum fare includes an extra charge.

CASE 3. You didn’t touch your card at the start of your journey and you only touched out.

In this case, the system will apply a 5 euro fare as it can’t determine the entry station and, consequently, the right fare for your journey.

When and how are extra charges applied?
The extra charge is applied four days after the date of your journey as a separate charge which is referred to the same journey.

Where can I see extra charges?
You can see these charges in the reserved area of Atm website (you have to sign up).

How much are extra charges if I don’t touch out?
If you enter an urban station, you will be charged 1,20 euro extra in addition to the 2 euro fare.  The resulting maximum fare is 3,20€ (2,00 + 1,20). If you enter a suburban station, the maximum fare is 3,20€.

I’ve been charged 1,60 euro for a journey I’ve never made! Why?
This is an extra cost which is probably related to an incomplete journey you have previously made. In this case, you haven’t touched out so the system has applied a maximum fare based on the journey you would have made if you had reached the furthest exit station. The maximum fare is the sum of the Mi1-Mi3 fare (2€) and an extra charge (1,20€). This extra charge may be applied a few days after the date of your journey as a separate charge.

You can view all of your extra charges in the reserved area of Atm website (you have to sign up) by reading their description.  Alternatively, you can  take the card that you used to an Atm Point with a valid identity document.

I’ve been irregularly charged although I haven’t been travelling. Why?
This may be an extra charge related to an incomplete journey you made a few days earlier, when you probably didn’t touch in or touch out. If you don't touch in and out, the system can't work out the right fare for your journey and applies an extra charge.

You can view all of your extra charges in the reserved area of Atm website (you have to sign up) by reading their description.  Alternatively, you can  take the card that you used to an Atm Point with a valid identity document.

I’ve received a text message from my bank saying "a 10 euros transaction was authorized". Why 10 euros?
This is a pre-authorization and not a charge. At the end of the journey, the correct fare will be charged based on your journey.

Why did you charge me 1,50 € extra for my journey?
This is a pre-authorization not depending on Atm contactless system and not a charge.  At the end of the journey, the correct fare will be charged and it will be based on your journey.

Why did you charge me € 0,02?
It is a request for authorization and not a charge. This may occur when you subscribe for the first time to the reserved area of Atm website.

6) Cards and devices

Which cards can be used for contactless payments?

  • All contactless credit cards issued by Mastercard and VISA
  • All contactless debit cards issued by VPay and Maestro (the same cards you use for withdrawing cash)
  • All prepaid contactless cards issued by Mastercard and VISA

Prepaid Postepay cards issued by VISA are not accepted.

How do I know if my card is contactless?
Contactless cards are marked by this symbol:

Why does my card not work?
There are four possible reasons:

  • The card does not belong to the list of accepted cards, as specified above
  • The account connected to the card has insufficient funds, is frozen or is otherwise inaccessible
  • The card has expired
  • The card does belong to the accepted cards specified above but it is not contactless

In these cases, we suggest you ask your bank in order to solve the problem.

7) Virtual cards

Is it possible to pay using Apply Pay, Samsung Pay and other mobile banking services on smartphones, smartwatches or other smart devices?
Yes. The system works with all devices onto which a contactless card belonging to the list (question n.1) has been digitised.

WARNING: the same device must be used to enter and exit the metro. If you enter with one card, you must exit with the same card. If you enter with a smartphone, you must exit with the same smartphone.

Can I register my virtual card in the reserved area of Atm website?
No, this service is not available at the moment.

Can I see the charges for the journeys I’ve made with my virtual card in the reserved Area of Atm website?
No, this service is not available at the moment (virtualization standards have not been defined yet). Meanwhile, you can request your virtual card charges by taking the device that you used to an Atm Point with a valid identification document.

8) Where to pay contactless

Where can I pay with my contactless card?
Currently you may only use contactless payments for journeys which start on the metro and continue on the surface network within zones Mi1-Mi3. So, in order to pay with your contactless card, the journey must always begin on the metro.

Can I pay contactless on Trenord lines and railway services?
No. The payment method is not valid on Suburban lines, neither on trains operated by Trenord or other railway companies.
So, if you use your contactless card on the metro and you need to transfer to take a railway line, e.g. in the interchange stations of Porta Venezia, Repubblica and Garibaldi, you have to touch out.

Does contactless work for every metro station?
Yes. The service is available on the entire metro network, urban and suburban zones. All stations have at least two contactless readers to enter and at least two readers to exit.

Can I pay on board a surface line (bus, tram or trolleybus) and then proceed on the metro?
No. You cannot pay for journeys which start on a surface line, whether it be urban or suburban. Contactless payment may currently be used only for journeys which start on the metro and continue on the overground network within zones Mi1-Mi3.

Can I use contactless for journeys on suburban surface lines?
Only under these conditions:

  • if the journey starts on the metro and
  • if the journey continues on an overground line within zones Mi1-Mi3.

Currently it is not possible to pay contactless beyond these zones, even if the journey has begun on the metro.

9) Duration of the journey

How long can a journey last when it is paid with a contactless card?
The time limit does not change compared to that of a journey purchased with an ordinary ticket
. Depending on the entry station (where you touched in) and the exit station (where you touched out), the time limit ranges from 75 to 135 minutes.

EXAMPLE N.1 – SINGLE URBAN TICKET
If you travel between two stations in the urban area (Cordusio and Bicocca) the Mi1-Mi3 fare will be applied. Thus the time limit will be 90 minutes.
This means that, if you continue your journey on a surface line, you can travel for no more than 90 minutes since you entered Cordusio station.

EXAMPLE N.2 – SUBURBAN TICKET
If you travel between an extra-urban station and an urban one (Gessate and Cordusio), an suburban fare will be applied. Thus the time limit will be 135 minutes.
This means that, if you continue your journey on surface line, you can travel for no more than 135 minutes since you entered Gessate station.

10) Inspections and fines

What can I do if an inspector asks for my ticket?
You have only to provide the card that you used at the turnstile. All our controllers are equipped with a digital device which verifies the transaction and makes sure the passenger is eligible to travel.

When am I liable to a fine?

  • For example, when ticket inspectors find that you are travelling after the time limit provided by your fare, calculated from the first validation of your current journey.
  • Or when you are travelling on an extra-urban overground line which has gone beyond the limits of the urban area

To learn more about the duration of the journey, please see the questions in the section 9.

How does the ticket inspector know if I have paid for my journey?
The inspector’s device is able to identify the metro station (whether it be urban or suburban) where the first validation took place, and is therefore able to verify whether you are travelling within the time limit provided by your fare.

How to make sure that my privacy and data are not violated while ticket inspectors are verifying my journey?
The devices used by our inspectors keep the data anonymous.

11) Secure payments

Are there any risks for my card being cloned?
No. Our contactless readers are certified by the banks which issue the contactless cards. Atm contactless service satisfies all standards for safety as required for any contactless payment transactions.

How to make sure that my privacy and data are not violated while I am paying with my contactless card?
No data related to the card nor any data related to its owner are recorded by Atm.

12) Apply for a refund

I’ve arrived at the exit metro station but the contactless reader is out of order. How can I touch out to exit?
If a reader is out of order, try using another one. Every metro station has at least two contactless readers to exit.

Since all the contactless readers were out of order, I had to leave without touching out. Will I be surcharged?
If you don't touch out, the system will automatically apply an extra charge. However, you can apply for a refund (please read the next answer).

How do I request a refund?
You must take the card or device (smartphone or smartwatch) that you used to an Atm Point or to the Customer Support Office at viale Stelvio. Our customer assistants can verify any errors which might have occurred.

What do I have to bring with me when requesting a refund?
You must not forget:

  • a valid identity document
  • the card or device that you used at the turnstile (the card must be registered to the person who is requesting the refund).

Once the refund is accepted, how do I receive it?
Refunds are given via bank transfer or by issuing tickets

13) How POS readers are made

Would it have been better to combine pass and contactless readers into a single one?
This might have been aesthetically pleasing but it would have caused serious problems (please read the next answer to know why).

Why are pass and contactless readers separate?
In order to avoid interference generated by the common habit of touching the wallet or the bag on the reader and not the card.
By keeping them separate there’s no risk of swiping credit card and Atm pass at the same time.
Each reader supports only one compatible device.

One last suggestion?
If you take more than one contactless card with you, remember to extract from your wallet or your bag the one you wish to use to travel. If the contactless reader detects more than one contactless card, no transaction will take place and the ticket gate will not open.

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