Presumably learning from the massive transformation to London’s pubic transport network over the last decade since the introduction of the Oyster Card, people are becoming more adept to the faster and cheaper method of RFID tickets.
So from 9th July 2014, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) will only allow tickets which allow RFID check in and check out at an extra cost of €1 per journey. You will no longer be able to buy traditional paper tickets from the machines and you will have to use the reloadable and disposable tickets with embedded chips for an extra €1 each time.
There is a workaround however…
You can buy your ticket in advance on NS International’s website, where you can either print at home or pick up at the station and pay by credit card for no extra cost. I believe the intention of the website was to buy international tickets, but doing a test run I was able get through to the purchase screen on a wholly domestic Amsterdam Airport to Amsterdam Central. You will need to ensure that the page is in Dutch for this to work.
Unfortunately NS does not allow domestic tickets to be issued on the English website. You can always use Google translate or Chrome extensions to help you along though 😉
There is another added bonus with booking over the internet, which may not be too relevant for those who don’t live in NL though. When travelling with a season ticket holder, you can buy a ticket with a 40% discount — the “samenreiskorting”. Since the new RFID tickets currently do not plan to allow for this, the online ticket will be the best way to implement this discount.
Though morally debatable, I have seen many people (especially in the student towns of Delft and Groningen) get on a train with only a “samenreiskorting” ticket. They then ask around for season ticket holders in the train who will let them sit together. This way when the conductor comes along to check your tickets, the terms and conditions of the discount are fulfilled.