Nokia developing Oyster payment phones

Nokia developing Oyster payment phones

Mind the gap

Travellers on the London Underground may soon be able to pay for their trip using a Nokia mobile phone.

Reports in The Guardian suggest that Nokia, O2 and Transport for London are close to a deal that would see handsets fitted with radio systems that allow them to work with Underground ticket barriers.

Richard Humbach, manager of mobile payment systems at Nokia, explained that the handsets may need a subtle redesign to cope with how Londoners use contactless payment methods.

"In Singapore's transit system, they wave the card a centimetre or so above the payment pad, but in London they tend to wipe the card on the pad. So the phone may need to be reshaped to avoid scratching the camera lens."

The handsets may also have a full contact credit-card system built in, such as Visa payWave or Barclays OnePulse.

Over 1,000 shops in London now use the Barclays system, which allows for payment without a Pin reader or signature.

Humbach is confident that such payment systems will achieve mass market acceptance "around 2010 or 2011".