Nokia Oyj's mapping business will work with partners to develop global standards that would allow users to buy transit tickets in cities around the world from a single mobile-device app.
Nokia said its HERE division will partner with transport providers Scheidt & Bachmann and Thales SA as well as mobile-payment provider Verifone Mobile Money to create software that would let travelers tap their smartphones on sensors to board buses, trains and subways. Apple Inc.'s digital-wallet system Apple Pay is also trying to woo consumers by allowing them to buy transit tickets, including for London's railway and bus network.
As more consumers seek simpler ways to shop, tapping a phone, credit card or smartwatch to pay is becoming increasingly popular. The Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance plans to standardize the communication between handsets and transit facilities to reduce the confusion travelers often face.
"Mobile ticketing on a worldwide scale has the potential to increase the use of mass transit," Justus Brown, head of urban mobility at HERE and the alliance's chairman, said in a statement. "With urban populations growing rapidly, public transportation will play an increasingly important role in reducing emissions and boosting economic growth by ensuring that all members of society are mobile -- not just those with a car."
The alliance members are expected to bring trial products based on the partnership to consumers in several cities around the world later this year, Nokia said.