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February 4, 2016

UK rail operators to replace paper tickets with barcoded m-Tickets

UK-based Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has unveiled plans to replace orange paper tickets with new barcoded m-Tickets that are delivered directly to passengers’ smartphones.

UK-based Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has unveiled plans to replace orange paper tickets with new barcoded m-tickets that are delivered directly to passengers’ smartphones.

Passengers can download the new flexible barcoded m-Ticket to smartphones or other mobile devices.

It is expected that over the next three years, more people will be able to use mobile devices, contactless cards or smartcards to travel, as part of RDG’s proposals to modernise train tickets.

"We have a vision of fully digital, mobile-friendly train travel with smarter types of quick and easy electronic tickets."

m-Tickets are currently limited for use only on one specific train operator’s services.

The RDG had piloted the new m-Tickets at more than 230 stations in the north of England, Scotland and the Midlands.

As part of the initiative, the RDG is also working with the card payments industry to explore how people outside London could use new ‘ticket in the cloud’ technology to use contactless credit or debit cards as a ‘token to travel’, replacing paper tickets.

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RDG customer experience managing director Jacqueline Starr said: "We have a vision of fully digital, mobile-friendly train travel with smarter types of quick and easy electronic tickets, which are convenient, personalised and can be used on different providers’ services.

"The rail industry is developing technology to make buying and using train tickets simpler so that people no longer have to rely on the old orange paper type, instead using technology and products that they are familiar with such as smartcards or barcode readers.

"Our customers must be at the heart of everything we do. The rail industry listens to passengers and understands their needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and we’ll continue to cater for everyone."

Under the plans, instead of just paying for journeys with a bank card, customers will be able to book online or via a mobile phone app and use the same payment card to go through the gates at the station.

Rail operators along with the UK Cards Association have agreed to fund a joint project to explore how contactless cards and devices could support long-distance train tickets or season tickets, so passengers no longer have to print out tickets.

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