Aircoach, an Irish coach operator now lets you buy your tickets online and have them sent to your mobile phone. They are giving a 50 percent discount on airport tickets if you buy 30 online at a time. That’s a pretty good incentive to be a geek on the bus.
The system works by accepting your payment on the web, and then sending a voucher to your mobile phone, which is in the form of a barcode and a number.
When you get on the bus, there’s a special scanner to the right. The scanner reads the barcode and prints a ticket. You then show it to the driver.
If the barcode doesn’t work or if your phone won’t display it, you can key in the number and the ticket will print just the same.
The one thing that makes it a bit awkward is the need for the printed ticket. It would be a lot easier if the driver just got a signal (a light or a bell) to let him know that your ticket was good.
OUr company did some research on this area for clients last year, and found that the most successful applications of mobile payments worked because they removed the paperwork burden from customers in performing regular everyday tasks.