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Customer Snapshot

An Instantly
Rewarding Ride

540 million

estimated passenger rides by 2020


The Société de Transport de Montréal wanted a loyalty program that would reward customers immediately. Using rich transactional data and a network of partners, they now personalize their customer’s daily commute, suggesting opportunities for culture, sports, entertainment, and shopping. With SAP, they are re-defining the customer experience.


Société de Transport de Montréal (STM)


Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Customer Website




CAD1.2 billion

Number of Employees


Implementation Partners


Line of Business



Public Sector, Travel & Transportation

Featured Products

SAP Precision Marketing


The heart of the city


  • 1861The first public transit company in Montréal, the Montréal City Passenger Railway Company, was created.
  • 1886 The first electric tramway was put into service.
  • 1911The creation of the Montréal Tramways Company merged all public transit companies on the island of Montréal.
  • 1947Ridership in Montréal reached 393 million a year.
  • 1967The first work of art, a glass panel by Frederic Back, was unveiled in the metro’s underground gallery, at Place-des-Arts station.
  • 1974The Montréal metro greeted the billionth passenger.
  • 1997The company’s Internet site was launched.
  • 2002The transit system’s name became Société de Transport de Montréal, STM for short.
  • 2008The OPUS smart card was launched.
  • 2010STM was recognized as the Outstanding Public Transit System in North America from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
  • 2011The 150th anniversary of public transit in Montréal.

Business Model

A smarter “smart card”

Montréal public transit riders are receptive to new ideas. Like the STM’s Opus card, available since 2008, giving passengers the ability to load tickets and monthly passes onto a “smart card” rewards. But the STM wanted a loyalty program that did more. They also wanted to open up new business opportunities and serve customers even better.


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Following a recipe of co-innovation

Success Strategy

Connecting with commuters in real-time

Using innovation and technology to improve the brand, and to develop a 1:1 relationship with riders, the STM wanted to connect with riders in real-time, directly bringing them relevant, geo-localized information – through an instant customer reward & recognition based on Opus card purchasing history, plus declared preferences and interests.


“Our 1.2 million Opus Card users are always on the move and looking to understand what’s nearby, what’s happening, and where to find help for daily activities.”

The Challenge

Giving customers more value

The Opus card had given the STM a transactional relationship with their customers. But they needed to make sense of the collected data for better business insights and decisions, and also wanted to tailor offers to customers on the go. STM wanted to unleash the potential of the Opus card to more fully attract and engage their customers.


Just 48 hours after the soft launch, STM Merci
had 4,800 downloads

Enter SAP

Shared objectives

Facing expensive, tedious, build-from-scratch development, the STM turned to SAP. Already a happy SAP customer (running SAP ERP and SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) solutions), they saw that the innovation found in SAP Precision Marketing powered by SAP HANA could transform ever-multiplying data by the day, hour and minute.


“We worked very closely with SAP on this. They have accompanied us in a very professional manner. ”

The SAP Experience

Bringing it on the Metro:
Just 9-12 months from start to launch


Together, SAP and the STM designed and built the STM Merci app. The STM knew SAP could provide the tools and processes to harness the value in the big data available to them and safeguard customer privacy. With this solution in the Cloud, the STM also met their objective to minimize the need for IT support and simplify use for their marketing team.


“If you were to ask me, who came up with the idea? The STM or SAP? Truly, it’s the sum of the two.”

Better Business

Merci app is a hit!

Thousands of customers have downloaded the Merci app, and the STM continues to add new partners and events to the app every day. The STM Merci experience has brought together the power of big data, analytics, cloud, and mobile to redefine the consumer experience and the value of interactive, digital marketing.


“STM Merci is truly one of a kind in the links it allows us to create between client data, profiles and preferences, and the offers made by our hundreds of partners.”


Everyday commuting just got fun

Within 48 hours after its introduction, the STM Merci was the #1 Lifestyle app in the AppStore in Canada. The company now enjoys:

  • Real time, personalized interactions with customers
  • New revenue sources
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • More customers buying monthly or annual passes
  • Increased value for business partners


Offers are tailored to the rider, creating a
real-time satisfaction
while riding public transit.

Lessons Learned

Co-innovation pays off

Co-innovation exercises with SAP were instrumental in overcoming obstacles and setting objectives. The result? A solution that’s unique, innovative, exciting, and fun for the STM’s riders.

Run Simple

Optimized, greener, and more engaging


With the Merci app, the STM can link its customers with its preferred retailers and activities. Customers can access offers and discounts as they commute, and can use the app to find events close by, and even get a discount on their desired experience.


The STM Merci also provides riders with important information about their commute.


We wanted to reward our customers on the spot, we wanted to be able to surprise and create excitement for our customers, and we wanted to generate loyalty to the STM.

Journey Ahead

More improvements to come

The STM‘s Merci app, built on SAP Precision Marketing, has given the STM a head start in meeting the demand for increased efficiency, and feedback from early adopters will make the app more relevant to customers and partners. Going forward, the STM aims for the STM Merci program to be paid for through revenue from participating partners.


“Given SAP’s great credibility as a partner, we are very confident we will be able to meet and exceed our goals with SAP Precision Marketing.”

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Main objective: to improve the customer experience

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