SNCF, the French passenger train company, is trialling a system whereby passengers need not go through that whole troublesome rigmarole of buying and collecting tickets from the station or on the train. Instead, they will be given a USB card which, when connected to their PC, enables them to pay in advance for their tickets and then present the USB card to the driver.
In all honesty, and knowing how likely I would be to forget the damn thing, I suspect the system may have some obvious questions raised by the more forgetful of us. For those travelling as a one off or rare thing it may well work but the more journeys we make with it the more likely I suspect that we’ll become to lose it.
Who pays for replacements? Can you even get replacements? What if you get on a high speed train with no stops for 100 miles, and then realise you’ve forgotten it and you brought no spare cash or a credit card? Why do these stupid questions that nobody else really cares about always come to me?
The system is still in the trial stage and presumably any potential loss problems would hopefully be covered throughout the development and finalisation stages.