The rise of contactless payment technology is continuing, with train passengers soon to be able to use their mobile phones to pay their fare.
The new payment system has been developed by mobile phone company Everything Everywhere, which owns both the Orange and T-Mobile brands.
The system has been developed in partnership with Barclaycard, and will be available to millions of mobile phone customers – many of whom are already using their smartphones to make other types of payments.
“We’ve already started a new movement in the way we make payments and receive retail rewards on the high street,” said Gerry McQuade, Chief Marketing Officer at Everything Everywhere.
“So this really is the next step – providing customers with additional simplicity and convenience to help improve their public transport experience.”
The system will allow commuters and other passengers to buy a single ticket or travel pass using an app on their phone. The phone can then be used as a ticket when tapped at a terminal at a railway station or bus.
Everything Everywhere has agreed a deal with transport company Stagecoach to begin a series of trials for the new service.
“As Britain’s biggest communication company, we’re proud to be working with Stagecoach to help bring public transport ticketing into the 21st century and start a trend towards a future where ultimately the traditional paper and card tickets of today will eventually become a thing of the past,” added Mr McQuade.
A trial of the contactless payment system is already underway on buses in Cambridgeshire, with the service set to be rolled out to other Stagecoach services next year.
“This is an exciting technical trial which we believe is the first of its kind in the UK and we are pleased to be working with Everything Everywhere to explore the use of this new technology,” said Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group Finance Director.
“Smart phones are playing an increasingly important role in helping people manage their busy lifestyles and are already used across many areas of life.”
The government has said it wants all types of public transport to use contactless payment technology by 2020, which could replace Oyster cards in London.
“We believe this technology can also make public transport easier and more convenient to use,” added Mr Griffiths.
“Once this trial is complete, we will carry out a review of the findings and assess the potential to expand the scheme further for our passengers.”