First Bus turns mobiles into tickets through Barclays Pingit app

National bus route operator First Bus has implemented mobile ticketing and announced tickets can be bought using Barclays Bank’s Pingit app

National bus route operator First Bus has implemented mobile ticketing and announced tickets can be bought using Barclays Bank’s Pingit app.

First Bus initially launched mobile ticketing in its Aberdeen and Worcester operations in March 2014 and is now selling more than 30,000 mobile tickets a month across the UK.

The company said Pingit accounts for 7% of existing mobile ticket transactions, and wants to expand the relationship with Barclays.

“The partnership with Pingit puts us 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,” said managing director of First Bus Giles Fearnley.

Using the First Bus mobile tickets app – which is available for free on Apple's App Store and Google Play – customers register, select the ticket they want and pay. When complete, bus tickets live in a virtual wallet and customers show the driver their ticket via their mobile phone screen.  

Mobile payments apps

Pingit links a bank account with a mobile number and means users can pay someone that is registered to receive payments from their phone, without the need to share bank account numbers.

It has been downloaded more than 3.5 million times and the total amount sent using the service has reached £775m. More than 48,000 businesses have registered to use the service.

The app followed the bank’s work on a private cloud that underpins it, as well as other cloud-based mobile banking services.

The private cloud means rather than using a website that sits on top of core IT infrastructure to enable mobile payments, the Pingit app plugs directly into it.

The Payments Council forecasts one billion payments to be made to people using mobile phone numbers through its mobile payments app, Paym, by the end of 2018, according to a report.

Paym allows consumers to send and receive payments directly to a current account with a mobile. The Payments Council announced in January 2014 it will eventually enable mobile transfers between all UK bank accounts.

Although many banks are already members of the Paym initiative, some offer their own mobile payments system such as Pingit, and there are other services available to allow consumers to pay using alternative methods.

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