Vodafone customers can now use their PayPal account to pay for their bus and Tube journeys simply by tapping their Android smartphone against a contactless card reader.
The two firms are enabling shared customers to link their PayPal account to Vodafone Pay, the network’s in-house electronic ‘wallet’ app.
As well as making contactless purchases of up to £30, Londoners and visitors to the capital can also pay for journeys on the Transport for London and rail networks.
Unlike other mobile-based contactless payment options such as Apple Pay, Vodafone Pay still works even if the phone’s battery is discharged because the contactless technology is stored in an NFC-enabled SIM rather than in the handset.
This means passengers can complete their journeys without incurring a maximum fare even if the battery runs out mid-journey.
First introduced on bus services in 2012, contactless fares have been a big hit with London’s commuters and the system has been expanded in recent months to work with Apple and Android mobile phones and other smart devices.
Growing take-up of the technology means one in 10 of all UK contactless transactions are now made on TfL’s network, making it one of the largest contactless merchants worldwide with more 600 million journeys paid for using the technology.
The acceptance of mobile payment apps means even passengers without a contactless-enabled card can ditch their Oyster and benefit from weekly pay as you go fare capping.
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, says: “Since September 2015, we’ve seen almost 18 million pay as you go journeys made using mobile devices across London’s transport network.
“Over six per cent of all Contactless journeys are now made using these devices, with around 100,000 journeys now made every day.
“As more people around the world see the benefits of this quick and easy to use technology, we’re confident the number will increase even more.”
Announcing the partnership with PayPal, Vodafone UK’s Kate Wright said: “Our customers told us that being able to use PayPal when making mobile payments was important to them so we’re delighted to now offer this on Vodafone Pay.
“The service also works with any Visa and MasterCard credit or debit card offering customers greater choice than any other mobile payment service.”
Rob Harper, Director of Mobile Commerce at PayPal UK, added: “Money is going digital, and the smartphone is at the centre of this transformation. Mobile payments have long been at the heart of what we do.
“As mobile technology continues to evolve, we will continue to look at new ways to make it easier and faster for our customers to pay.”
Vodafone Pay users who don’t already have a PayPal account will be able to sign up for one directly from within the app.