First Bus becomes first nationwide public transport operator to offer Barclays Pingit as mobile payment option

19 November 2014  •  Author(s): First Bus

First Bus, the UK’s leading bus operator, has become the first nationwide public transport company to offer Barclays Pingit as a mobile payment option.

This month saw First Bus complete the roll out of Mobile Ticketing across its operations, enabling customers to use their mobile phones as bus tickets.  In a move expected to increase the popularity of its mTicketing product and encourage more people to use the bus, First Bus also confirmed that its customers can now pay for their mTickets using the mobile payment app Barclays Pingit.

First Bus PingitDespite having only recently added Pingit as a payment option for customers, in some of First’s operating areas the Pingit share of mTicketing transactions is approaching 7%.  More than 50% of Pingit payments so far are by bus users over the age of 25 demonstrating its popularity with customers across many age groups.  

Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus, said “I’m delighted we are the first nationwide public transport operator to partner with Barclays’ ground-breaking Pingit mobile payments service. This partnership puts First 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.”

Darren Foulds, Director of Mobile Banking and Pingit at Barclays, said: “This partnership is another example of how mobile payments are being integrated across different industries, and shows the great potential for mobile payments as services like Pingit gain more widespread use.

“For quick, secure transactions on the go, mobile is fast-becoming a trusted method of making payments – whether from person-to-person or directly to a business.  For consumers it offers a totally secure way of making payments that are at the same time quick – and on a device that almost everyone in the UK carries with them on a permanent basis.”

Since launching mTicketing in its Aberdeen and Worcester operations in March 2014 First is now selling more than 30,000 mTickets a month across the UK.  The introduction of mTicketing to First Cymru and First Scotland East on November 3 concluded First’s roll out programme and means that customers in every one of First’s operating companies are enjoying the benefits of using their mobile phones as bus tickets.  (Note that in Bristol, Bath and Norwich, mTicketing options are limited to students).  

Giles Fearnley added: “Mobile Ticketing at First Bus has been an unqualified success.  Sales are well ahead of our projections and growing strongly.  Customers are welcoming the extra convenience that it offers, not having to worry about losing bus tickets and passes or having the correct change.  Exceptional progress has been made by our teams in bringing this product to market and it’s not only helping us attract new customers, but is also encouraging infrequent customers to get on board the bus more often.”

Barclays Pingit was the UK’s first person to person mobile payment app launched in 2012.  It is free to download and available for everyone, not just Barclays customers. To date, Pingit has been downloaded over 3.5 million times and the total amount sent using the service has reached £775 million. Over 48,000 businesses have registered to use the service.

Paying with Barclays Pingit on First Bus is a simple, safe, secure and fast process. To use mTicketing customers should download the ‘First Bus Mobile Tickets app’, which is available for free on App Store and Google Play.  They then register, select the ticket they want and navigate the secure payment system.  Once the payment section is complete, bus tickets live in a virtual wallet.  Customers activate the ticket when required and to board the bus simply show the driver their ticket via their mobile phone screen.  Repeat users need only select the required tickets and confirm their debit/credit card’s security code.

For more information on Barclays Pingit please visit Barclays.co.uk/Pingit  

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