First Aberdeen has enabled ‘Express Mode’ for Apple Pay to customers, to offer another way to avoid paying by cash during the coronavirus outbreak.
The firm says that the launch of this innovative technology has been accelerated through the impact of COVID-19, with the operator advising customers to avoid paying cash on bus wherever possible due to the latest government advice on limiting the spread of the virus. First Bus says it has seen the use of cash fall by around 5% due to COVID-19 guidance on avoiding its use where possible.
Express Mode for Apple Pay means that customers with Apple Pay can board and pay for their ticket using their iPhone or Apple Watch, without the need to wake or unlock the device, open an app or use Face ID or Touch ID. Passengers just need to hold their device near the reader, which will make boarding even faster and reduce the amount of time spent in close proximity to the driver. First Aberdeen says that over 80% of passengers are currently using cashless payment methods on its buses.
Once the technology is fully operational in Aberdeen, it will be rolled out across First’s networks in the UK throughout the remainder of the year.
Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director at First Aberdeen, said: “During these unprecedented times, we wanted to offer our customers another cashless way to pay for their bus travel and to make life as easy as possible. Aberdeen was the quickest market to adopt other popular payment methods on our buses across our entire UK bus operations and so it was the obvious first choice to be upgraded to the new Express Mode on Apple Pay technology. The new system will make life easier for customers choosing to travel with us during these difficult times.”