The OV-chipkaart is the new payment method for public transportation in trams, the metro and buses in the Netherlands. The OV-chipkaart fully replaced the strippenkaart system in November 2011 and is available in three types:
1. Disposable OV-chipkaart
The disposable OV-chipkaart is made of stiff paper and cannot be topped up with credit. Thus, it is intended for travellers who do not use the Dutch public transportation system very often, for example tourists.
2. Anonymous OV-chipkaart
The anonymous OV-chipkaart (anonieme OV-chipkaart) is reusable, and once loaded with electronic credit it can be used for travelling. It can be used by the owner as well as by others, but not at the same time.
3. Personal OV-chipkaart
The personal OV-chipkaart (persoonlijke OV-chipkaart) is for one user and includes his / her name, date of birth, and photograph. Consequently, the personal version is non-transferable, but the owner does enjoy other benefits including the option to block it (for instance in case of theft) and automatic top up.
To apply for the personal version of the chipkaart - via OV-chipkaart, GVB Tickets & Info, or GVB Customer Service - you must have a Dutch address and a bank account. Residents of Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg can also acquire one by paying via a Dutch bank account, PayPal, or credit card.