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First Bus Picks Up Barclays Pingit For Mobile Ticket Payments

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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All aboard for mobile ticketing across First’s UK bus network using Pingit app

Bus travellers will now be able to use their mobile phone as a ticket following a deal signed by one of the UK’s biggest bus companies.

From today, customers using First Bus routes are able to pay for their mTickets using Barclays’ mobile payment app Pingit.

Using a free app available on both Android and iOS, customers register and pay using their device, with tickets downloaded into a virtual wallet.  These can then be activated by the customer at the time of their journey and shown to the driver when boarding the bus.

Frequent travellers can pay even faster, with prior registration meaning that only need to select the required tickets and confirm the security code of the payment card.

barclays pingit first busTickets please

Today’s news follows the completion of First Bus’ rollout of mobile ticketing across its entire UK operations, which includes a fleet of around 6,400 buses carries approximately 1.6 million passengers a day.

The company has already seen an impressive adoption rate in the first set of locations to receive the new technology, with up to 7 percent of mTicketing transactions being completed using Pingit in some areas. More than half of the Pingit payments made so far are by bus users over the age of 25, demonstrating its popularity with customers across many age groups.

Since launching Pingit in its Aberdeen and Worcester operations in March 2014, First is now selling more than 30,000 mTickets a month across the UK.

“I’m delighted we are the first nationwide public transport operator to partner with Barclays’ ground-breaking Pingit mobile payments service,” said Giles Fearnley, managing director of First Bus. “This partnership puts First at the forefront of bus ticketing technology and reflects our commitment to grasp ever more innovative ways to make bus travel better, easier and more convenient.”

Barclays first launched Pingit in 2012, allowing customers to send and receive money through the app quickly and securely. The app has since been downloaded over 3.5 million times, with its users, which include over 48,000 businesses, sending over £775 million using the service.

“This partnership is another example of how mobile payments are being integrated across different industries, and shows the great potential for mobile payments as services like Pingit gain more widespread use,” said Darren Foulds, director of Barclays Mobile and Pingit.

“For quick, secure transactions on the go, mobile is fast-becoming a trusted method of making payments – whether from person-to-person or directly to a business.  For consumers it offers a totally secure way of making payments that are at the same time quick – and on a device that almost everyone in the UK carries with them on a permanent basis.”

The UK’s travel networks have become ideal proving ground for alternative payment methods to gain widespread awareness. In London, over one million contactless transactions were completed on TfL’s Underground services in just the first nine days of the technology being rolled out, following its earlier introduction across the capital’s bus services.

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