Transport for London is one of several organisations that has started trialling a new mobile payment scheme run by operator O2 that allows customers to pay for goods, access events and pay to use London’s public transport system using their mobile phones. The six-month trial will see 500 O2 customers testing the service on Nokia 6131 handsets for ease of use, security and usefulness.
The phones rely on near field communications technology, which enables short range wireless communication, with customer making payments by touching their phones on special readers. Participants will also be able to touch their phones on smart posters that send extra mobile content on the poster subject to the phone.
As well as Transport for London, ticketing system vendor Transys, Barclaycard, Visa Europe, Nokia and entertainment venue firm AEG are taking part of the new payment scheme. Stores including Books Etc, Coffee Republic, EAT, Krispy Kreme, Threshers and YO! Sushi will also accept payment using the technology.
The system is similar to an Orange service being trialled by Manchester City FC fans that is allowing those with near-field phones to enter through the turnstiles for home games. The Orange trial of the mobile contactless service might also be extended to enabling fans to buy food and other goods at half time, as well as making it easy to offer loyalty discounts to regular match-goers.