Cellphone payment for public transport to be trialled

File photo / Natalie Slade
File photo / Natalie Slade

Paying for public transport could be as easy as tapping your cellphone as a trial gets underway next month in Auckland.

The trial will see 30 staff from six organisations - Telecom, Auckland Transport, Westpac, Gemalto, Thales and Paymark - using their cellphones to make "tap and go" payments on Auckland's public transport system and make purchases at small selection of retailers.

The trial will use Thiales' near-field communication application with Auckland Transport's final smart card ticketing system, HOP, before deploying it globally across all networks and banks.

The trial, which uses Telecom's XT network, will allow participants to Auckland's buses, trains and ferries through their mobile phones.

"Mobile phone technology makes the option of paying for transport services using a device the majority of New Zealanders carry with them every day, a natural choice reducing the number of cards customers have to carry," Auckland Transport's Chief Executive, Dr David Warburton said.

The trial will also use a Westpac credit card to top up a Telecom XT Prepaid account, using Paymark's infrastructure, meaning users will not need to go online or into a store to top-up.

Telecom CEO, Paul Reynolds, said the days of using multiple cards to pay for goods and services were numbered.

"As we have seen with developments in mobile phone technology, people quite rightly expect their phones to offer more versatility and functionality and simplify their lifestyles. And we're absolutely committed to developing the mobile wallet through our investment in building a common trusted services manager for New Zealand.

"The information gained from this trial will be invaluable for developing a mobile wallet with the kinds of innovative products and services that our customers can expect on the XT network."

- HERALD ONLINE

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