Transport for London is looking to enable users to pay for rides with their smartphones. According to The Financial Times, the agency is already holding talks with EE and Vodafone, both of which could offer the capability as the extension of their respective mobile wallet solutions.
The initial trial is expected to be a “pay as you go” scheme using apps owned by the mobile operators that can be preloaded with money. Operators could also consider payment for tickets on a weekly or monthly basis, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Presuming the right hardware is installed all around the city, the barriers at London’s Tube stations will work with NFC-enabled smartphones. This move alone could help Google gain extra points in one of the world’s most vibrant cities; on the other hand, London-based Apple fanboys will have to hope that the next iPhone will finally include the NFC chip…