Vodafone Netherlands is set to trial technology that gives public transport users the ability to use their smartphones to check in and out of terminals in the country.
The company said it has been given the go ahead to initiate the national pilot, in partnership with Dutch operator KPN, payments company Translink and transport companies in the Netherlands, based on 200 people testing the technology in the coming months.
The company has been developing a test environment for the service over the last few months, and said the move is “a logical one”, following the introduction of its contactless smartphone payment service SmartPass last year, as part of its wallet application.
In a blog post, Bart Hofker, director, consumer business unit at Vodafone Netherlands, said the pilot will be used to test if the transport pass technology “is as convenient” as the company believes.
“Such a field test will give us valuable user feedback with which we can refine and finalise the product before its mass introduction after a successful pilot,” he said. “I am confident this will be a feasible goal.”
Hofker said with the addition of the public transport pass, “the Vodafone Wallet is shaping up rather nicely”.
He added that the company is sticking by its view that physical wallets will no longer be required by 2020, a prediction it made last year, given the popularity of contactless payments, the high level smartphone penetration, and the “early adoption of new technologies” in the country.
As part of the Vodafone Wallet, the company also offers a credit card with a NFC feature to make payments, the capability to digitally store all loyalty and membership cards, and virtually manage loyalty and membership cards.
Vodafone said earlier this month it will extend the availability of its wallet app to make NFC payments across a number of European markets “within weeks”.
The service is presently available in six European countries.