The mobile group hopes to begin a nationwide roll out across a select group of bus and rail services next year.
The trial will be assessed at the end of the year and the companies will then consider launching education marketing campaigns to change consumer behaviour away from using paper tickets to paying for travel with their mobiles.
For Everything Everywhere, it signals another move away from its core call, text and data services. Earlier this week, the telecoms company announced a partnership with AGA to launch ovens that can be controlled by text message or a smartphone app. http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/ee-and-aga-create-connected-ovens/4001876.article
The trial of the service is underway on the Stagecoach bus network in Cambridgeshire, allowing passengers to receive, store and validate their tickets using their Quick Tap enabled mobile phones.
Quick Tap is the service that also allows Orange users to pay for items at retail outlets such as Eat, Pret a Manger and Subway, by tapping their phones against a compatible NFC (Near field communications) reader.
Gerry McQuade, chief marketing officer at Everything Everywhere, says: “As Britain’s biggest communication company, we’re proud to be working with Stagecoach to help bring public transport ticketing into the 21st century and start a trend towards a future where ultimately the traditional paper and card tickets of today will eventually become a thing of the past.”
Everything Everywhere and Stagecoach will be hoping services such as mobile ticketing will drive wider use of contactless payment technology. Just 8% of consumers say they would apply for a contactless payment service device straight away if they found out it was available with their operator, according to Mintel.
The Cambridgeshire trial contributes to the government’s previously announced target to deliver smart ticketing across most public transport journeys by the end of 2014.
Transport for London is aiming to launch NFC mobile ticketing across its network by 2013. It had previously planned to have the technology in place in time for this summer’s Olympics but said complexities with the technology had delayed the launch.