Passengers on London Underground could be using their mobile phones to get through the ticket barriers and even pay for their lunch within the next two years, after a trial in the capital by O2 and Transport for London.
O2 incorporated Oyster card technology and a Barclaycard into a Nokia 6131 handset and gave it to 500 testers, who spent six months using it as an electronic wallet. They made more than 50,000 tube journeys and bought items from shops such as Eat, Yo Sushi and Krispy Kreme.
Claire Maslen from O2 said the company was putting together a consortium to launch a full service within two years. "The 2012 Olympics are an obvious target to aim for, but I think that is a very conservative timeframe," she said.
The trial used near-field communications (NFC) technology, as used in the Oyster card. The "e-wallet" can be topped up from a bank account and used to pay for items under £10. In Japan similar phones have been used for more than four years.
I expect the phone will be used to pay the congestion charge too!
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