EE and Vodafone are in talks with Transport for London to allow commuters to use their NFC-enabled phones to pay for tube fares.

London Underground ticket barriers are capable of reading the NFC chips in smartphones and contactless payment cards, much like those on the buses in the capital, but a system of payment is yet to be approved.

Travellers in London can already use their phones or NFC cards to pay for journeys on buses and trials will soon start on the Tube network too, reports the Financial Times.

READ: One million London bus journeys paid for with contactless payment cards

Trials will initially be based on a pay as you go system, with networks said to be offering tube fare payment through their mobile wallets. You pre-load cash on their applications and then use it to pay at the ticket barrier.

A "person familiar with the plans" also told the FT that operators could eventually allow customers to buy weekly or monthly travel cards.

Transport for London claims that the barriers would still need to be switched on to work with smartphones. "The upgrade we have made to our readers to accept contactless payment cards also makes them capable of accepting suitable payment applications on mobile phones," said Shashi Verma, TfL's director of customer experience.

"We are doing some testing to see how the devices perform on the system and welcome any new payment technologies that meet the relevant industry standards and enable sufficiently fast transactions speeds."

ee.co.uk - PAY MONTHLY PHONES The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is now available on EE who have been awarded the UK’s best network for the fifth year running. RootMetrics tested the four UK networks and EE was faster and more reliable than all of them, with better data performance. Their network has come a long way since they launched in 2012. Back then they had 11 UK cities covered by 4G. Today they cover most of the UK’s land mass, thanks to 19,000 state-of-the-art 4G sites. They’ve got faster, too – from 50Mbps to a maximum speed of 400Mbps. And they’re soon to experience even greater possibilities with the launch of 5G.

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