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Barclays Pingit brings mobile payments to First West Yorkshire bus riders

By
January 5, 2015

IMG_0979[1]_optBarclays Pingit is giving riders of Britain’s First West Yorkshire bus service a mobile payment option, the latest example of a public transportation organization making it easy for riders to purchase and use tickets from their smartphones.

The adoption of Barclays’ mobile payment system by First West Yorkshire was reported by the Halifax Courier. The move points to how demand is influencing transportation companies to get up to speed on mobile after lagging other sectors.

“For some, paying for transportation with a token, paper bills or coin adds up to an antiquated model,” said Jeff Hasen, founder and CEO of Gotta Mobilize, a Seattle marketing consulting firm. “First West Yorkshire is catering to that group, which makes sense given the recent advancements in mobile payment like Apple Pay.”

Simplifying payments
Pingit, introduced in 2012, is designed to simplify how individuals exchange money by enabling users to send and receive currency directly from their smartphone.

IMG_0976[4]_opt

Example of Barclays Pingit in bus-service mobile payments.

 

Pingit was the first person-to-person mobile banking app in Europe, according to the financial services company. It enabled anyone with a bank account in Britain and a mobile phone number to send money as easily as they send a text message.

In September 2013, Barclays teamed up with Corethree to bring Pingit to public transportation customers in Britain.

Corethree offers a mobile wallet for transport ticketing in Britain. By including Barclays Pingit in its wallet, Corethree can offer users more flexibility in how they pay for tickets.

The app’s breadth of services have been expanded several times since to include mobile payments from NFC tags and mobile checkout for Web sites and print ads.

Corethree reported that it was the first business to integrate Barclays Pingit mobile checkout, enabling bus passengers to browse, select, purchase and use bus tickets from their mobile devices.

Corethree and Barclays were to roll out their mobile payment services to other transport operators, with the goal of reaching up to 1 million passenger journeys per day.

The Pingit app for service on First West Yorkshire buses is available via iPhone and Android devices on any mobile network.

After a slow start, public transportation organizations around the world have been embracing mobile ticketing to make it easy for riders to purchase and use tickets from their smartphones.

For example, in Portland, OR, the TriMet Tickets app is available for use on both local buses and trains, enabling users to purchase transit tickets anywhere at any time that can be used on TriMet buses, MAX trains, WES Commuter Rail and the Portland Streetcar.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority also rolled out a new mobile ticketing service, giving commuters a way to purchase and display rail tickets on their smartphones.

Besides providing consumers with a secure way to pay with their phone and not have to carry cash or exact change, mobile ticketing saves transportation agencies the cost of printing tickets.

Mobile ticketing is a way to introduce customers to making payments from their mobile device, a timely development coming as 2015 shapes up as year when mobile payments are expected to accelerate with the advent of Apple Pay.

Traditional options
“Where the bus company would go down the wrong road would be to eliminate the traditional options,” Mr. Hasen said. “The migration to mobile payment will be slow and never unanimous. History tells us that.

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Another example of Barclays’ mobile-payments app.

“Banking apps have become more popular, but we still have not only ATMs to process checks, but humans still acting as clerks to serve customers who want to bank the way they always have. Innovation is great, but being inclusive is wiser.”

 Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.

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