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Train tickets and petty cash on your mobile

Do your pockets bulge? Ours do. Mobile phones, wallets, train tickets, loose change, keys – it all adds up to a jangly, bunch of metals you have

Instead, Nokia, O2 and London Underground are teaming up to launch an all-in-one smart train ticket: a mobile phone that acts as an LU Oyster card and cash card – like the Nokia 6131 NFC (pictured).

London Underground’s Oyster cards use RFID tags to store data. Credit cards also use RFID. It’s a technology that fits into mobiles like gloves on hands and spells the end of carrying far too much in our pockets. Phones carrying this kind of tech have been a big hit in Japan and South Korea for yonks now.

The cash card part would hold no more than, say, £20, meaning if you lose it you don’t lose your entire bank account. It would be used at shops for anything from your morning cuppa to a paper and chocolate bar. Topping up would be done online or at kiosks, maybe even in your bank.

The Oyster part would just be your regular Oyster card. But fear not if you don’t live and work around the Big Smoke. If the plan takes off, you’ll eventually see these mobiles in use on buses and at newsagent near you.

The scheme kicks off its trial later this week and we’ll bring you all the details when it does.


RFID Mobile scheme

Price: £various

On sale: tba

Contact: Nokia UK