FAQ about the check-in ticket

We have compiled the most frequently asked questions and answers about the check-in ticket for you below.

You can view and download a PDF version here (PDF, 63 KB).

1.      Function, area of validity and offers

How does the check-in ticket work?

It’s simple: open the ZVV app and check in before the means of transport departs (swipe from left to right). You must check out as soon as you arrive at your destination and disembark from the vehicle (swipe from right to left). The app tracks your journey and then calculates the right ticket. The price is automatically charged to the payment method you added in the app.

What are the advantages of the check-in/check-out (CICO) feature?

As it is no longer necessary to manually select the ticket before your journey, you can generally use public transport without any knowledge of the fares or products. This is especially helpful for occasional users. However, our travelcard holders also benefit from the advantages the system has to offer as connecting tickets are automatically charged to the existing travelcard.

What criteria do I need to meet to use the check-in ticket?

  • You need a mobile phone number and a valid payment method.
  • You must have a functional mobile phone with a touch screen and an up-to-date operating system (the minimum requirements are available in the App Store or Google Play Store) that has not been rooted or jailbroken.
  • You need a functional mobile data connection during the check-in and check-out processes as well as during the entire journey as well as sufficient battery power for the entire duration of the journey. We recommend that you use the check-in ticket with a contract that provides a flat rate for data.
  • From the check-in process and at least until the check-out process, the location services (high accuracy) of the mobile phone must be activated. For iPhones and Android devices below Android 10, it is necessary for technical reasons to set the authorisation of the location services to "always". For Android devices with Android 10 or newer, the authorisation "when using the app" is sufficient.
  • The access of the app to the motion sensors built into the mobile phone must be activated and the sending of notifications by the app must be permitted (push notifications).

In what area can I travel with the check-in ticket?

You can use the check-in ticket throughout Switzerland within the perimeter of the GA travelcard (including on boats).

Will my existing travelcard or Half-Fare travelcard be taken into account?

Yes, the travelcards and Half-Fare travelcard referenced on your SwissPass are taken into account for journeys with the check-in ticket.

Important notice: please note that not all travelcards have been implemented throughout Switzerland yet. In the ZVV, the local network travelcard cannot yet be accounted for.

Can I also travel in first class with the check-in ticket?

Yes, you can also use the CICO feature to travel in first class. Remember to change your chosen class of travel before you check in each time.

Additionally, the billing process automatically takes into account when no first class is available on the form of transport (e.g. tram or bus). In this case, you will be charged for a second-class ticket automatically even if you selected first class when you checked in.

Important notice: the check-in ticket cannot be used to purchase a first-class upgrade on journeys in the network. If you have added a second-class travelcard or have already travelled in second class in one zone and (immediately afterwards) then check in again in first class, you will be charged full price for a first-class ticket for the zones (covered by the travelcard). The first-class upgrade will be implemented at a later date.

Are supersaver tickets also factored into the price calculation?

No, supersaver tickets are not taken into account for the check-in ticket. Under the relevant fare regulations, supersaver tickets are subject to a quota and must be purchased no later than one hour prior to departure. With the check-in ticket, you check in immediately before departure, so supersaver tickets are not taken into account.

Can I also purchase tickets for travel companions, bicycles and dogs with the CICO feature?

The check-in ticket can currently be used for the logged-in main user with up to eight co-travelers. All travelers start and end the journey at the same time and travel in the same class. The ticket price for all individual travellers is charged to the payment method of the main traveller.

For children under six years of age, no ticket is required. If you are traveling with your child / grandchild with the Junior Card, you do not need to add them to the co-travelers either.

The check-in of a dog or a bike is currently not yet possible. Please buy conventional tickets for dogs and bikes in the app for the time being.

What special fare regulations and restrictions apply to the check-in ticket in the ZVV?

  • You will not be charged for the normal ZVV 24-hour ticket for journeys that exceed the validity period of a single ticket. You will be charged for a ZVV calendar day pass or a ZVV connecting ticket for one calendar day on the basis of the billing period of one calendar day that is in place throughout Switzerland. Due to the limited validity period, the calendar day pass is 10% cheaper than the 24-hour ticket and the 24-hour connecting ticket, according to the official ZVV fares.
  • If the journey is not possible on a direct, uninterrupted route based on the timetable within the validity period with a network ticket that is valid for up to two hours, the journey can be continued with a conventional ticket up to the destination. In contrast, the CICO feature will automatically charge the user for a calendar day pass in these cases as the system does not recognise that a connection is not possible in the timetable within the two hours. In such a case, the user can submit a request for a review and a refund to our customer service team.
  • When a ZVV 9 O’Clock Pass is to be paid for, the intended timetable is always of relevance to the defined start of the journey. For technical reasons, journeys starting on a means of transport that is scheduled to depart before 9 am cannot be covered by the 9 O’Clock Pass even if the effective (i.e. delayed) departure was after 9 am.
  • The in-house tariffs of the Polybahn, the Horgen–Meilen ferry and the cooperative society Schifffahrts-Genossenschaft Greifensee are not taken into account. The normal ZVV zone tariff shall be charged in these cases; this tariff is also recognised by these companies.

Is the check-in ticket subject to other restrictions throughout Switzerland?

The standard selection of public transport is generally available with the check-in ticket. However, some special tickets throughout Switzerland (e.g. Ostwind Day Pass Plus) and regional offers (e.g. Rigi Railways day pass or other regional day passes) are not or not yet available with the check-in ticket. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service at contact@zvv.ch.

2.      Checking in

What do I need to do before I check in for the first time?

Under ‘Check-in ticket’ in the menu, the app will first guide you through the registration process step by step. You will need your SwissPass customer number, your mobile number and your payment details.

How does checking in work?

To check in, swipe the arrow from left to right under ‘Check-in ticket’ in the menu – you already have a valid ticket, which you can view by clicking on the small blue QR code.

Please note that your check-in was unsuccessful if no QR code symbol appears in the app after you have checked in. In this case, you do not have a valid ticket for your journey on public transport.

When do I need to check in?

You must check in right before the start of your journey and before you board the vehicle.

What else do I need to keep in mind when I check in?

Make sure that location services are active on your mobile phone, your device can receive mobile data and movement data are active. Before checking in, you should also verify that the app has recognised the starting stop correctly. If not, you can manually select the right starting stop from the list of nearby stops.

What are some potential reasons for problems checking in?

Please make sure that your mobile phone is receiving data and that location services and movement data collection are active.

If you still have problems, they might be caused by the following:

  • You might have automatically connected to a public wifi network that has to be activated first (e.g. SBB-FREE, PostAuto). The fastest way to solve this problem is to deactivate your wifi or ignore the connected wifi network.
  • With regard to underground stops (e.g. the underground train station at Löwenstrasse in Zurich), you must check in on the mezzanine level as geolocation may not work properly underground.
  • On certain devices such as Huawei, power-saving mode greatly impairs the reception of location data for smooth journey tracking. Please deactivate this mode while you are using the check-in ticket.
  • Location services on iPhones (and Android devices below Android 10) must be set to ‘Always’ while you are using the check-in ticket, otherwise your journey cannot be tracked smoothly. You can activate location services in your iPhone’s app settings.   
  • Fitness and movement data must be activated on iPhones while you are using the check-in ticket. You can activate them in your iPhone’s app settings. 
  • You might be running a virtual private network (VPN) such as My Data Manager that blocks the check-in ticket when you use it. Add an exception for the ZVV app on your VPN or deactivate it.

What happens if I cannot check in for technical reasons?

Note: if you are unable to check in for technical reasons, you will count as travelling without a valid ticket. In this case, purchase your ticket from the Ticket Shop in the app or elsewhere. Please always contact our customer service to fix the malfunction.

I checked in by accident, will I be charged something?

After you check in, you can check out again in a few seconds. If you do not leave the first stop or location between checking in and checking out, you will not be charged for a ticket.

My app is blocked and I cannot check in. Why? What can I do?

A user can be blocked if we detect irregularities or manipulation when journeys are recorded or if payment was unsuccessful. You will be notified by SMS if this happens to you.

3.    Journey/inspection

Can I change during the journey?

Yes, you can change as often and as spontaneously as you like during the journey.

What do I need to bear in mind when I change?

You will not need to check out and back in if there are no major interruptions when you change means of transport. The app detects that you have changed and automatically charges you for the right ticket.

What happens if my mobile phone stops working during the journey?

If, during the journey, your mobile phone is unable to operate and send data for a reason for which you are responsible (e.g. flight mode, dead battery, defective phone, location services deactivated, etc.), you will not be adhering to the terms of use of the check-in ticket. Consequently, you will not have a valid ticket. If your mobile phone only stops working properly for a short period of time, the system will run in the background on the server for a little while longer.

What happens if my phone battery dies during the journey?

As a user of the ZVV app, you are responsible for having enough battery for your mobile phone to remain on during the journey. If you cannot present your ticket, you will count as travelling without a valid ticket.

What happens if I deactivate location services during the journey?

The route you travel is calculated using your mobile phone’s location services. For this reason, location services must be active while you use the app. If location services are deactivated, the app will display a warning and the ticket will shortly become invalid. In this case, you will count as travelling without a valid ticket.

Can I interrupt my internet connection during the journey?

No, because this can interfere with tracking your journey. We reserve the right to block users who do so repeatedly.

How much data is used when I use the check-in ticket?

The app sends and receives approximately 1 MB of data per hour when you are checked in.

What do I need to do during a ticket inspection?

If a ticket inspection takes place on a journey, you will need to open the ticket with the machine-readable code in the app (by clicking on the small blue QR code on the check-in page) and present it to the inspector. Likewise, you must present an official form of identification at the request of the inspector. 

4.      Checking out

How does checking out work?

At the end of the journey, swipe the arrow from right to left to check out. You do not need to do anything else – we now have all of the information and can charge you the right fares for your journeys. You can see the last journey you took and the fares in the app.

Important notice: some Google Pixel, Huawei and Xiaomi phones have special energy-saving optimisations that deactivate the location services needed to detect your journey. Go to your system settings to see whether the ZVV app is a preferred app. Certain energy-saving optimisations go so far as to revoke your phone’s rights to use location services. This can result in the app checking you out and you travelling without a valid ticket.

Will I be reminded to checkout?

Yes. When the app detects the end of your journey, it will send you a push message to remind you to check out. These checkout alerts require sharing of movement and fitness data and permission to send push messages. The reliability of the warnings is very high across all device types together, although there can always be constellations where the warning is not triggered. For some device types, the checkout warning is not possible for technical reasons, e.g. iPhone 4S, HTC One M8.

What is the Smart Stop feature?

If you activate the Smart Stop feature, the app will send you a message when it detects the end of your journey. You then have the choice of confirming the end of the journey or continuing the journey. If you do not respond to the message, the Smart Stop feature will automatically checkout for you after five minutes.

Please note that the Smart Stop feature currently only provides assistance if the app is sure that your journey is over. However, it does not yet recognise this in all cases and accordingly does not end your journeys for you by default. So make sure that you still end your journey manually whenever possible.

I forgot to check out. What can I do?

If you forget to check out immediately after the end of your journey, you can also check out later on. You will then see the tracked journey. You can click on ‘Report problem’ in the menu to report that you have forgotten to check out. Our customer service will then check the journey and correct it if necessary.

If you completely forget to check out on the day of travel, you will be checked out automatically at 5 am on the following day so you can be charged for your travel. In this case, check whether the journey for which you have been charged matches the journey you actually took on the previous day, and click on ‘Report problem’ in the menu to report any errors.

The app is not letting me check out even though I have reception, what can I do?

Close the app completely. Restart the app and check out. If this does not help, turn on flight mode for at least five minutes. You will then be automatically checked out at the location where you turned on flight mode. 

Alternatively, we recommend that you clear your cache. To do so, go to ‘Apps’, ‘ZVV’, ‘Storage’ and then ‘Clear cache’ in your mobile phone settings.

5.      Billing and payment

How do I see the price of my journey after I check out?

After you have checked out, the ‘Calculated price’ and the ‘Optimized price’ are shown in the journey overview. You can also view a summary of your journeys and fares at any time under ‘Show journeys’ in the menu.

What is the difference between ‘Calculated price’ and ‘Optimized price’?

Generally speaking, both prices are identical. However, if you undertake multiple journeys on the same day, we might optimise the price. Example: you use the check-in ticket three times in the same zone on the same day. The zone ticket costs CHF 3 per journey and the day pass for the zone costs CHF 6. For the first two tickets, the ‘Calculated price’ and ‘Optimized price’ would both be CHF 6. For the third ticket, the ‘Calculated price’ would be CHF 3 but the effective 'Optimized price’ would be CHF 0 because you have already reached the price of the day pass.

What is the maximum amount I can be charged per day?

When you travel in the ZVV network area, the maximum amount you will be charged is a day pass for all zones for one calendar day. In other networks, the maximum amount you will be charged is the day pass for the regional transport network in question. When you travel within the entire area of validity of the GA travelcard in Switzerland, the maximum amount you will be charged is one day pass in first or second class for the Half-Fare travelcard. If you do not have a Half-Fare travelcard, there will be no upper limits and you will be charged full price for all tickets.

What payment methods can I use?

The common credit and debit cards as well as Twint and Reka are currently available as payment methods for the CICO feature. Users who are logged in can also choose to pay via invoice. The payment method can be changed in the app settings or under ‘Check-in ticket’ in the menu.

My payment method has not been accepted, what can I do?

If your payment method is not accepted, its details might not be correct. Your credit card might have expired, you might have reached your limit or your card might have been frozen. Please contact your payment service provider.

When are the journeys I have taken charged to my payment method?

The app records all journeys undertaken in one day (from the first to the last journey on the basis of the timetable) and then calculates the fare for the day. This is then charged to your payment method at around 5 am on the following day.

How do I know whether I have been charged for my journeys?

We will send a statement (a PDF file) to your email address when payment is made successfully.

I have been charged the wrong amount or for the wrong journey. What can I do?

Open the app and select the journey under ‘Show journeys’ in the menu. Click on ‘Report problem’ and fill in the form. Customer service will check the journey and get in touch with you directly. If your complaint is legitimate, you will receive a refund.

The fare for the day is marked as ‘Provisional’ under ‘Journeys’ in the menu. What does that mean?

‘Provisional’ means that the fare for the day is still provisional and has not yet been calculated definitively, and/or the payment has not yet been processed. This means that the amount has not yet been charged to your payment method.

I have not received a receipt. Why might this be?

If you have not received a receipt, our email might have been caught by your spam filter or we have not finished billing you for your journeys. For example, the latter is the case if we have to check a journey that you have corrected manually in more detail. Please contact our customer service if you do not receive a receipt after a few days.

Why can I not see any details about my journeys when my payment method is ‘Invoice’?

The check-in ticket is a service provided by our partner Fairtiq. However, the monthly invoices are sent by a separate partner Byjuno. For technical reasons, it is not currently possible to show journey information such as the routes you have travelled or the tickets you have purchased in the monthly bill. 

Your journeys with the check-in ticket are labelled with ‘ZVV/Check-in ticket’ on the bill. To verify these items on the bill, we recommend that you check them against the receipt that was emailed to you. If you have any questions, please contact our ZVV customer service and not Byjuno, which generates the invoices. 

How do I see an overview of my past journeys?

Go to ‘Check-in ticket’ in the app menu and then click on ‘Show journeys’ in the sub-menu. You will find a list of your past journeys there.

6.      Data protection

What data are collected by the CICO feature and for what purposes?

When you register, your personal data, including your mobile phone number and payment details, is stored. During the journey, the app uses motion sensors to collect your location and activity data in order to calculate your route.

The collection of journey data begins when you check in and ends a few minutes after you check out.

At no point will your data be shared with third parties; the data shall be processed and stored in accordance with Swiss data protection legislation.

Why do I need to set location services on my phone to ‘Always on’ in order to use the check-in ticket?

The check-in ticket needs your location data (GPS) to track your journey correctly and charge you the right price for your journey. If you leave the app running in the background or close it during your journey, your journey will only be tracked if location services are always on.

The check-in ticket locates you:

  • When you open the app in order to find your next stop. This facilitates a smooth check-in from your point of departure.
  • When you are checked in during the journey in order to track the route you have travelled.
  • A few minutes after you check out in order to calculate the price on the basis of your destination.

In your mobile settings, please make sure that location services have the following permissions:

  • On iPhones: set to ‘Always’.
  • On Android phones with Android 10.0 or newer: set to ‘Allow only while using the app’.
  • On Android phones with an older version of Android than 10.0: set to ‘Always on’.

Is my payment data secure on the mobile phone?

For security reasons, the payment information is not stored on your mobile phone or on the CICO system servers. The payment information is stored by the payment service provider (Datatrans AG).

Valid as of July 2023