Another article that almost passed me by. This was in Wednesday’s NZ Herald:
Telecom is hitching up to Auckland’s $110 million transport ticketing project by turning smartphones into wallets for use on buses, trains and ferries.
The company yesterday showed the technology in action at its testing laboratory in expectation of making it available late next year for payments to retailers as well as public transport.
Smartphones loaded with an electronic version of Auckland Transport’s new Hop card alongside a Westpac MasterCard and Telecom payment account were used to open replicas of passenger gates already installed at key railway stations, with electronic monitors showing credit balances.
I know that waving your phone in front of the smartcard reader is the way of the future, so it’s good that Auckland won’t be left behind on any of these developments. However, I’m also glad that Auckland Transport has got its priorities right and is making sure that the core system is in place as soon as possible, rather than tinkering around with add-on extras like linking into mobile phones:
But Auckland Transport says its priority is to ensure an updated version of the plastic Hop card is ready for travel on trains from October 28 before allowing a smartphone trial.
“We want to make sure the core system working the cards is 100 per cent ready to go before we open it up,” chief operating officer Greg Edmonds told the Herald.
It’s exactly a month until the new AT Hop Card becomes available for use on the rail system. Auckland Transport have also sorted out a good way of transitioning those who already have Snapper Hop Cards. This was explained at the September Board Meeting of AT:
I still think it’s going to be pretty messy during the transition period – with two HOP cards in place – some being able to be used on some services but not others, some services not accepting HOP at all. And so on. But at least we’re seeing progress.