Smartphones to replace Snapper cards

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 09:05 01/05/2012

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Wellingtonians who are also customers of 2degrees should be able to tag on and off buses using the latest smartphones, as an alternative to Snapper cards, from later this week.

The mobile carrier is set to get the jump on Telecom and Auckland Transport on Thursday by announcing that it has become the first to pioneer contactless payments using a technology called near field communications (NFC).

As well as using smartphones to pay for bus trips, 2degrees customers should be able to use them at other outlets where Snapper is accepted, such as shops, cafes and taxis.

2degrees is keeping details of the service under wraps until the launch, but it is possible the cost of bus fares and purchases will be deducted from customers' pre-pay balances.

Telecom, Westpac and Auckland Transport yesterday announced they would hold their own trial this month with the goal of letting Aucklanders pay for bus, train and ferry trips using NFC-equipped Telecom XT mobiles.

Vodafone, Telecom, 2degrees and bank-owned eftpos operator Paymark announced last month that they intended to set up a joint venture to promote NFC technology and ensure customers of any telco could pay by eftpos using any NFC-enabled mobile.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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