After the official opening of the year of 2011, Shenzhen North Railway Station has become a major station on the south side of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. In addition, more than 100 trains pass through Shenzhen North Station to West Kowloon, Hong Kong every day. The Shenzhen North Subway Station next to the High Speed ​​Rail Station is also the interchange station for Line 4 and Line 5 and Line 6 under construction. It has naturally become one of the busiest subway stations in Shenzhen.

At noon on July 29, we made a simple statistic at Shenzhen North Subway Station. In 5 minutes, 138 passengers entered the station at one of the subway entrances. Among them, 70 people chose to open the mobile phone and use Tencent’s The ride code scan code passes.

This perception is also in line with the overall data released by the Tencent Car Code team: On July 12, the number of passengers in Shenzhen Metro has officially exceeded 20 million, and the number of single-day brush codes has exceeded 2 million. The rate is above 50%.

Two years ago, people who had to carry Shenzhen Tong or queue to buy a one-time subway card every day might have a hard time to imagine that using a mobile phone to swipe into the station could come so fast.

On July 30, 2019, Tencent Financial Technology announced that with a 90-year-old mobile phone in Guangdong Province, Tencent’s passenger code officially welcomed 100 million users. From the time of the Guangzhou line on July 30, 2017, it took exactly two years to enter the “Eight Times” by car code.

This smart transportation innovation product under Tencent Financial TechnologyAt the beginning of the project, its research and development and landing involved complex links such as government relationship coordination, business negotiation, and hardware product adaptation. In many cases, its requirements exceeded Tencent’s past experience in toC products. Now, the bus code has been landed in more than 120 cities in 28 provincial-level administrative regions. In addition to facilitating passengers, it also saves operating costs for subways and bus companies on payment settlement and card counting, but in the bus code team. It seems that the formation of industry solutions to help the digital transformation of the transportation industry, even in the future of smart travel, is only a small step.

Project: “Lower Mawei” from the public transportation sector

The appearance of the ride code is not a flash of light.

In early 2013, Tencent President Liu Chiping set the year as “the first year of WeChat commercialization” at the company’s annual meeting; in August of the same year, Tencent’s payment tools Tenpay and WeChat jointly launched WeChat payment; On January 24, 2014, WeChat red envelopes went online and detonated the Internet.

WeChat transfer and red envelopes allow users to develop the habit of online payment, and also cultivate hundreds of millions of card users for WeChat. By 2015, WeChat began the exploration of offline mobile payments, and launched a standard mobile payment product, payment code. Relying on the number of users of WeChat, the payment code has developed rapidly, covering almost all the scenes under the line. To be broken, there are still difficult public transportation areas.

The public travel scene, including public transportation and subway, is a fertile ground that has not been opened up by the Internet. From a business point of view, according to the “13th Five-Year Plan for Urban Public Transport”, by the end of 2020, the total number of urban public transport trips in the country will reach 120 billion person-times. The huge data means huge commercial value; from the user’s point of view In view of the fact that public transportation has the characteristics of high frequency, high viscosity, high number of people and low amount, it is especially suitable for cultivating users’ payment habits.

But the blade is difficult to insert deep into the soil.

At the end of 2016, the team responsible for smart transportation conducted a survey of the public transportation industry, and found the particularity of this market from the results:

  1. The efficiency requirements are extremely high. From payment to opening, it must be completed within 300 milliseconds. The payment code payment is based on online payment, and the whole link is relatively long: the merchant initiates payment → Tencent transit → bank processing payment → Tencent transit → payment result, even if the network condition is good enough, it takes 1~2 second.
  2. The network environment on transit tools is very volatile and complex. For example, the subway station is usually underground, it is a relatively closed environment, the network signal is not good, and the payment code needs good network support to complete the transaction.
  3. The bus and subway companies are the main players in the industry, and the requirements for the actual capital are very high. If the user’s account does not have sufficient funds, the payment code payment operation will not be completed, which will delay the travel time.

These three points are undoubtedly the “dead spots” of the payment code.

Therefore, a new payment method was introduced to overcome the public transportation industry. The basic requirement was to meet the requirements of fast scan code, offline payment and advance payment, and was included in Tencent’s next plan.

On the same timeline, WeChat founder Zhang Xiaolong revealed in an open class in early 2016 that WeChat is studying a new form called “Application Number”, which is a small program later. After more than eight months, the small program opened 200 first batch of internal test places for the service number.

At the right time, the bus code decided to select the small program as a carrier and participated in the first batch of internal tests. One is for the support of Tencent’s new products, and wants to cultivate users’ habits of using small programs through a high-frequency product; the second is because the usage code of the ride code and the small program are admired. The concept is very compatible; the third is that the form of the small program is more flexible, and the product can be efficiently iterated to adapt to different QR code standards, helping the passenger code service to cover the national market more quickly.

The subway and bus companies are also seeking change in the power of all parties. In addition to Tencent, Alipay and UnionPay are also entering the public transportation sector. Of course, there is a huge demand for users behind this. In the planning of the Ministry of Transport, taking data as a key element, empowering the transportation industry, improving the quality of travel and logistics services, making digital dividends benefit the people, and enhancing people’s sense of acquisition is also the meaning of digital transportation.

Generally speaking, the profit of Tongka Company is divided into three parts, namely, issuing funds, depositing funds, clearing fees. Because of the special nature of the subway industry, many companies will always guard the “three old”. Willing to let go.

The Guangzhou-Shenzhen base camp is a typical example of active change. They are willing to embrace the Internet and join Tencent to do digital reform and innovation. This is also an important reason why the bus code first landed in Guangzhou.

Birth: The “hardcore” challenge of the Internet team

On July 30, 2017, the bus code was officially launched in Guangzhou. From the project to the official launch, the bus code team was “dead” for half a year.

In the third quarter of Tencent’s 2017 financial report, the three-month travel code was also included: “We launched the WeChat smart transportation solution, allowing users to work without a network. Generate a small program QR code in the mobile phone and quickly pay for public transportation through QR code scanning.”

In response to the “no network” situation in the financial report, the ride code team designed and developed the “double offline” QR code technology. On the one hand, the passenger’s mobile phone can generate a two-dimensional code offline; on the other hand, the scan code gate can also verify the two-dimensional code offline.

A new problem has been extended here: Scanning the code into the subway station has to pay, but the mobile phone is offline and it is not clear whether your balance is enough to pay, and it is not possible to deduct the money. It is very difficult for bus and subway companies to bear such financial losses. Therefore, Tencent decided to pay for it by itself. If you have money, it will not be too late. This is the other than the double code offline. One big highlight, “the bottom of the money.”

There is a very interesting logic behind “the bottom of the money.”

Knowledge program learned from previous data that the original design of Alipay travel code is sesame credit score greater than 550 points can be advanced, less than 550 points must be recharged before scanning code; and Tencent ride code from the beginning No threshold has been set.

For the platform, credit is certainly a safer option, but Tencent chose to “gambling.” The product code of the product code indicates to the program that the rule is that the passenger code is a small high-frequency product, the credit is a serious act; the second is the confidence in the WeChat ecosystem, I believe the user is not Will give up the use of WeChat for a few dollars.

“Tencent is still more in-depth in terms of insight into human nature and to C. If you don’t repay after you leave the station, or forget it, we will have a message to remind you; you are inconvenient, or the balance is not enough, the network Not good, just settle it the next time you use it. If youWe don’t use WeChat after the ride, we can’t use it in theory, but in the end it is more inconvenient for the platform or inconvenient for the individual, everyone can think about it. Of course, with the increasing popularity of WeChat payment, we have also made a withholding now, which is more convenient and beneficial to both parties.

From the two-year operation of Tencent’s passenger code, the user’s repayment rate is over 99% within one month, and the bad debt rate and escape rate are very low. Now let’s try to open the Alipay bus code and find that it is no longer necessary to authorize the credit.

▲ At 1 am, the ride code team is doing software upgrades to the gates

In order to prevent the bus code from being unavailable due to network or system fluctuations, Tencent’s car code also prepares the protection scheme under extreme conditions: 1. Setting up a highly available ride system, the system availability reaches 99.999%; The bus code can be used to transfer the disaster recovery room in a number of cities. It can automatically change the disaster tolerance of the minute level. 3. Optimize the offline generation of the QR code. For example, the user can disconnect the network for up to one month. Generate a ride code locally.

The technical problems on the line have been broken, and the difficulties under the line have yet to be resolved.

The ride code was cut from the perspective of the card. For the public transport industry at the time, it was a completely new model, especially the balance between traditional industry transformation and emerging business development. Because the card system involves a wide range, large impact, complex application requirements and the nature of municipal services, it is necessary to innovate from the inside. Business communication has become the first pass under the line of the code team.

In the actual contact with subways and bus companies, there are often several situations: 1. Different cities need to go through the bus company, track office, transportation bureau and other units, Long and difficult to predict; 2, some companies make internal adjustments, involving the restructuring of various subsidiaries, very easy to disrupt the rhythm of business communication before; 3, Tencent, Alipay and UnionPay have competition in the electronicization of physical cards. Some companies will make different demands on each team for the sake of interest, and even include the cost of hardware renovation, etc. Beyond the team budget.

Renovation of hardware is another difficulty. Compared with the traditional C-end Internet products, the ride code not only needs to optimize the software, but also involves the overall adaptation of the hardware and the network.

In the example of a sweeping dock that has the greatest impact on the user experience, the payment code contains few parameters, and many risk control parameters are added to the “double offline” travel code, mostly 3,400 bytes. It takes 3 to 4 seconds to identify the QR code using the traditional sweeping dock, far exceeding the 300 milliseconds required by the industry. To this end, the ride code team found a number of industry-leading manufacturers to study the entire identification principle, and then compress the response speed within 100 milliseconds.

▲ Developers are scanning code tests in different poses

In addition to the software’s adjustment of response speed, sweeping the dock also requires hardware upgrades. Because each user scans the code habits and postures differently, some people like to stick the mobile phone to the sweeping dock. Some people like remote recognition. At the time, the scanning code machine on the market required the code to be more than 5 cm away from the screen. Therefore, the user experience is not overall. good. For this reason, the car code team has enlarged the size of the scanner and repeated tests in a specially set laboratory to ensure that the boarding code can be accurately identified within a distance of 0 to 15 cm.

The back of hundreds of millions of users also means that sweeping the docks is subject to millions of rubies per day. In the past, most of the sweeping docks used ordinary glass, which was worn out in the first half of the year, which greatly affected the recognition rate. Therefore, the car code team made a glass survey. After comparing a number of tempered glass that was hard and easy to grind, the sapphire glass covering the screen of the mobile phone not only ensured hard and was not easy to grind.

Different from software, the cycle and chain of hardware products are much longer. This is especially true for Internet companies that are used to light assets and short processes. Every trial and error will cost a lot of money. There is no shortcut.Can follow.

This is also a nirvana for the Tencent R&D team that used to develop toC products.

Status and Future: The “big” plan for the “small” tool

At the end of 2017, there were people in the industry who commented: “The ultimate goal of the ride code mode is a code in the world. Users scan the code directly, but ignore the interests of the card issuer.”

The ride code team does not agree with this view. They believe that the scan code saves the operating costs of the to B industry and improves the user’s convenience. The ride code itself is just a supplement or emergency tool for the travel mode.

In addition, for subways and bus companies, the use of travel codes can save money and labor costs. Taking the Shenzhen Metro as an example, the car code team revealed that it can save tens of millions for the subway operation company in one year; and the one-off one-way ticket change and settlement is very time-consuming and labor-intensive, and cashless payment can improve the circulation of funds. Efficiency, fast payment and credit processing.

“For example, workers who wear masks and escorts to order a sack of change, although they have not completely eliminated the work, we have tried to reduce their work pressure.”

In fact, this statement can be confirmed from the user image of the passenger code. According to background statistics, there are fewer students and seniors using the bus code, more are young people with low price sensitivity, and 50% of men and women each. Most of these people do not care about the preferential subsidies generated by the card after multiple card swiping, and they are more willing to use the bus code when going to other cities.

Don’t forget that the appearance of the bus code was originally intended to popularize WeChat payments and small programs, and then more commercialization attempts. When it comes to future planning, the bus code team mentioned the most is the extension of the B-end scene, to “return to the public transportation industry.”

About back-feeding, the product director of the ride code gave us a few examples:

For example, do custom bus and network optimization to cope with insufficient vehicle resource utilization. Ranging codes can use their own big data and intelligent scheduling capabilities to help relevant departments improve vehicle efficiency and route optimization.

On July 25th, the Ministry of Transport issued the “Digital Traffic Development Plan”, which encourages and regulates the development of new modes of urban travel services such as customized public transport. Policy support from the country, let the ride code team “see the spring.”

For example, establish an early warning mechanism. Big data collected through the small program, showing to the command center where the number of people may be too large, so that it is easy to plan ahead when passing through the subway.

Additional functions such as heat map and voice reminder. The congestion of the train when the subway arrivesIt’s obvious; when you arrive at the station, you will be prompted by the car code, and so on.

The core of the back-feeding program is to combine the Internet of Things technology with artificial intelligence, supplemented by big data algorithms and early warning mechanisms, so that it can be visualized, predictable, and inductive, and further predictive and early warnings can be made. Help the industry reduce risk. The use of the car code to open these data to the government for supervision, so that the city becomes more efficient, more sensitive and more sustainable, will become an important part of the “smart city” advocated now.

It can be seen that the ambition of the bus code is not small. The exploration in the field of traffic wisdom is not limited to providing mobile payment solutions. Mobile payment is only the beginning, and the next step is to focus on the industry Internet.

However, it takes a while to achieve back-feeding, and the scene that may land first in the near future is “brushing the face and riding the car.” By brushing the face and realizing the combination of the person and the ticket, it is possible to identify people who need special offers, such as the elderly and internal employees.

▲ Image from the network

The concept of MaaS (Travel-as-a-Service) has been popular over the past few years, referring to the way in which travel has been solved by having a vehicle to solve travel problems by using travel as a service.

The next step in the bus code is to implement or to help realize the realization of MaaS. After forming a unified payment system, users only need to set the starting point and destination, and the bus code will beUse big data decisions to allocate optimal resources and solve the entire journey with one payment.


On October 31, 2018, Ma Huateng determined in a letter to partners that with the digitalization process, the main battlefield of the mobile Internet is developing from the first half of the consumer Internet in the first half of the industry Internet. Tencent will take root in the consumer Internet and embrace the industry Internet.”

Smart transportation is an important part of the industrial Internet. Tencent’s deep integration of Internet technology and public transportation will help the digital industry and intelligent transformation of the travel industry, bringing about tremendous improvements in operational efficiency, service levels, and security.

The ride code is the key to Tencent’s entry into the public transport sector. In the second half of 2017, you will find that the low-key Ma Huateng frequently appears in the news section, mostly not for social tools, nor for the game business, but for the B-side business platform including the bus code.

▲Ma Huateng takes a bus in Hefei

We can also feel the difference in this team during the communication with the bus code. It is normal to meet with different government departments, subways, and bus operators every day; their discourse system is no longer the amount of users, retention, and daily activities, but more of data, cost, digital transformation, and industry solutions. They represent the B side of Tencent.

“2 million users in 2 years, is the ticket code of Tencent Smart Travel or even the Internet of the industry?” For our inquiry, the person in charge of the bus code team immediately denied it. “I am particularly afraid of exaggerating the bus code. What a great team, if you use two years to summarize the current results, then the bus code is just a paid access.”

Tencent’s industrial Internet has just started. For this team, the formation of industry solutions, the transformation of public transportation for digital transformation, and even the journey to realize the future smart travel blueprint has just begun.

Note: Jiang Hongchang also helps this article.
Unreported images in the text were provided by respondents.