Leading mobile payment operator EE (founded in 2010 by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile) announced subscribers will now be able to use their NFC-ready Android smartphone to pay fares on all London buses.
While EE expects more than 500,000 customer handsets to be compatible with the service by the end of the year, it is likely that EE will add functionality for iOS and Windows in the near future. Although some consumers will be concerned about being charged extra, EE has stressed that any mobile payment will be charged at the equivalent rate of the Oyster card. Unfortunately for users, mobile payments will be limited to pay as you go fares, but the company has suggested that season tickets could be added down the line.
“More people use London’s buses than all the other bus services across the country combined, so the need for speedy and simple payment solutions is paramount,” said Pippa Dunn, chief consumer marketing officer at EE. “That’s why we’ve been working hard to bring our contactless mobile payments service, Cash on Tap, to TFL’s network – removing the need for customers to queue for a ticket, or hunt through their pockets and bags to find the right card.”
With the London transport system set to be opened to all forms of contactless payment as of next month, the new announcement by EE will effectively allow the transportation system to run a mobile payment trial ahead of expected uptake in the next few years.
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