Mass transit users in Romania will be able to use their smartphones to pay for their passage.
The Bucharest mass transit system in Romania has just announced that, starting this month, it will make it possible for NFC technology enabled smartphones to be used in order to use mobile payments for purchasing travel fare.
This is meant to appeal to the rapidly growing number of smartphone using commuters in the city.
The Bucharest mobile payments announcement came from the system’s operator, Metrorex. The reason that NFC technology enabled smartphone systems will be implemented throughout the service following a successful trial period at seven different stations in the city. The company determined that the popularity of the transactions merited an expansion of the program throughout every station in the city.
Certain wireless service subscribers will have access to the NFC technology and text mobile payments for fares.
Though this may expand in the future, at the moment, Orange and Vodafone wireless carrier subscribers will be able to text a message to a special number that places the fare charge on the smartphone user’s account. That customer is then texted a message as confirmation.
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This comes at a time that a service in India’s city of Chennai has also announced that it will be using NFC technology when it opens its rail system in 2015. That system will not be using the text method like the one in Bucharest.
By using the text based mobile payments services, it means that the transactions won’t be available only to individuals who have NFC technology embedded in their devices. This is important as the tech is only currently available in a small percentage of devices. Text opens up the opportunity to the majority of device carriers. This metro service currently has a network of 51 different stations throughout Bucharest.
Every year, the system transports over 170 million passengers, according to the statistics provided by Metrorex. During the pilot for this fare transaction program, there were over 10,000 validations that were reliably and successfully processed. The data regarding the number of expected users for this year or regarding NFC technology transactions has not yet been released.