First Bus has become the first nationwide public transport company to offer Barclays Pingit as a mobile payment option. The announcement comes as it completes the roll out of mobile ticketing across its operations, enabling customers to use their mobile phones as bus tickets.
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 the roll out programme and means that customers carried by all the operating companies are enjoying the benefits although in Bristol, Bath and Norwich it’s limited to students.
Despite Pingit only being added recently as a payment option, in some of First’s operating areas its 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.
“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.”