We’re a little slow to adopt near-field communications (NFC) technology here in the U.K. In fact, I don’t think I’ve stepped foot in a store that accepts NFC payments yet. However, that’s all about to change thanks to Orange.
The carrier is currently working to bring NFC payments to transport services throughout the U.K., and is expected to announce the new service imminently, according to TechRadar. That means you’ll no longer have to stand there counting your change after boarding the bus — you can simply swipe your NFC-equipped Orange smartphone instead.
The carrier told TechRadar:
“We’re starting to deliver on follow ups to the Quick tap payment system – for instance we’re looking at partners in the transport arena to give the customer more services.
“We’re looking across the transport sector [for uses of NFC] and working in particular with one partner, which we’ll announce in due course.”
TechRadar notes that the most obvious use for NFC payments in London would be through the already popular Oyster card service, with terminals already installed throughout the city. However, Jason Rees, Director of Mobile Payments & Ticketing at Everything Everywhere, refused to comment on which partner Orange is currently working with.
Pre-pay and zone-specific travel cards are expected to be the most common items embedded into NFC-capable devices, making it even easier for commuters to use public transport. Rees hopes that this simplicity will encourage customers to use transport services more frequently, and believes the industry is an ideal target for NFC payments:
“Working in the transport sector gives us the best chance to improve the frequency of customers’ [NFC] usage, and we’re very excited about it.
“It made sense to work with the banks first [to develop NFC infrastructure] but transport is a really important sector for the technology to help get people using it on a daily basis.
“We’re also looking at options in the merchant loyalty sector, which we see as a place where consumers will get the value of using their NFC-capable mobile, to get deals and vouchers, straight away.”
I would certainly be one of the first to welcome NFC payments to public transport services here in the U.K. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve lost those flimsy little train tickets, and the ability to pay by simply swiping my mobile device seems so much simpler.
What do you think of NFC payments for public transport?