Travelers in UK will pay for a journey with their NFC bank cards

image According to sources, the UK government is planning to introduce a national smart ticketing system that will let travelers pay directly for bus and train journeys using their NFC-enabled bank cards and mobile phones. The national plans come in the wake of London’s successful Oyster card system, which is now used for 78% of bus and tube journeys.

Central to the plan is a national ticketing infrastructure using the government-backed ITSO smartcard specification which will enable ‘tickets’ to work anywhere in the country. Thus, travelers could use mobile phones and bank cards to pay for journeys by tapping them against specially equipped readers.

According to the estimates of the department for transport, the benefits of a universal ‘integrated smart’ system could be as much as £2 billion per year through improved journey times and faster, more convenient and reliable purchasing and use of tickets, with benefits for local government and operators as well.

"We know that passengers want quicker journeys and better reliability, and smart ticketing will help us do that. We could see the end to waiting in line at ticket machines, while buses could spend half the amount of time sitting at the bus stop waiting for people to board and looking for the right change. In some cases, direct payments may even do away with the need for a ticket at all," says Sadiq Khan, transport minister.

Recently, transport for London revealed that the Oyster card could be dumped by 2010 in favour of a system that uses mobile phones or bank cards.

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