SBB Lots to see and do with SwissPass Smile

SwissPass Smile puts a smile on families’ and young people’s faces. SwissPass Smile is a public transport mobility and activity programme for families and young people. offers a full package of exclusive offerings by partner companies, along with ideas for leisure activities based on public transport and entertainment.
The programme, with the platform at its centre, is the product of a collaboration between TBWA\Zürich and Unic. As the technology partner, we are responsible for the technical concept and implementation as well as the operation of the platform.

Customer since
Go Live
August 2019
  • 80,000 members
  • 28 % returning users
  • 35 ideas for leisure activities based on public transport
  • 11 months from kick-off to go live

The Right Thing for Everyone, Not the Same Thing for Everyone

The platform is focused on benefits for families and young people. With personalised offers, it supports the entire customer journey from planning a trip to arriving at a destination. The content is based on demographic data which, thanks to data-based automation, improves continuously. Every visit to the platform tailors the content, offers and brand experience even more closely to the individual person. Thanks to the headless architecture, services, content, partners and functions can be integrated continually.

Magical Listening Experience

SwissPass Smile also provides auditory and intellectual entertainment. MärliTrax was developed specifically with the youngest passengers in mind. MärliTrax is the first audio drama that uses the passing landscape as a stage for captivating fairy tales. Stories timed exactly to the train journey will capture children’s imagination. Thanks to geotargeting, castles, mountains and rivers along the route will become a living part of the stories, turning the train journey into a magical adventure for kids and parents alike.

Rolling Library

A digital library was launched in collaboration with bookseller Orell Füssli. It offers young people and families free access to a selection of e-books while they are travelling, via smartphone, tablet or laptop. The selection of books is adapted constantly based on readers’ preferences.

The Journey Ends, the Fun Begins

At their destination station, the customer experience continues for passengers with SwissPass Smile. Personalised and relevant offerings by various partner companies such as Cinema, ESL Language Travel and Coop generate real added value, improving the leisure time of families and young people.

Collect Smiles and Profit

“Smile ‘n’ Profit” encourages travellers to collect points in the form of Smiles and to profit. Members can collect Smiles for platform-based activities, which will in turn allow access to even more exclusive and personalised offers in their Smile shop.

Flexible Solution Thanks to Headless Architecture

SBB plans to keep adding services to the marketing platform. This is why the platform is based on headless architecture. The frontend is a single page application based on Angular and communicates with the various services via REST APIs. The setup of microservices on Kubernetes allows for maximum scalability and ensures high availability.

Contentful at the Core

As a new service, the content management platform Contentful was introduced. Contentful is a headless CMS system developed specifically for cases like this one. The CMS is a cloud service and contains the content of the page but no personal data.

Integrative Architecture

The architecture takes an integrative approach, with the aim of using key systems and their services via interface connections (e.g. the SwissPass login). This avoids hierarchies and redundancies. It also allows for the aggregation of relevant customer information which, in turn, creates added value both for users and the operation of the platform.

Private Cloud Hosting for Sensitive Data

The users of the platform are managed via existing SBB systems. Users can log in using their SwissPass credentials and profit from the Smile offerings. Services with user data are operated via private cloud hosting by Unic. For the publication, certain data is published via content service (Contentful) and Amazon SES. That is why these cloud services only work with public, non-sensitive data.

A Marketing Programme Geared Towards the Future

SwissPass Smile gets families and young people excited about travelling on public transport. The journey is enriched with personalised content, individual offers and useful services. This compelling approach enables online and offline aspects to combine to form an enticing brand experience.

With SwissPass Smile, we want families and young people to become familiar with public transport early on and stay loyal over the long term. We achieve this by offering a full journey package for a tailored mobility and leisure experience.


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