25 June 2012 - A New Zealand company has launched a mobile smartphone app, “Touch2Pay”, that allows customers to board buses by swiping their phone. Touch2Pay will be usable on Wellington and Auckland buses also to pay for taxis and retailers in the Snapper network, called by . Miki Szikszai, Snapper chief executive, “the magic way to pay for everyday things’.
App users hold the phone - which does not even need to be turned on — up to a reader or payment terminal just as they would any ‘smart’ card. Snapper balances are shown on the phone and can be topped up by credit card. Users can also transfer money from the Snapper account on the smartphone to any Snapper card issued within the past 18 months.
At the time of the launch, the service only worked on Android phones that have Snapper’s contactless payment technology built in. But Szitszai said other compatible smartphones would soon be available on the system. He was confident most major phone companies would join the system in the future. “The industry is starting to think in the same way,” he said.
“Touch2Pay Chief Executive Eric Hertz said: "Touch2Pay will make payment faster and easier for people on the go. We have been working non-stop to ensure we are first to market with this new technology.” Hertzs said his customers had been asking for a mobile solution.
“What Snapper customers now have access to is something quite special. The only significant commercial deployments of everyday retail payments including public transport solutions — on a mobile phone have been in places like South Korea and Japan.
“This is not only a first for New Zealand, we haven’t seen anything like this launched on this scale in the Western world’
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