Mobile network operator Orange has partnered with Valencia's department of infrastructure and transport to develop an NFC payment service for public transport in the region. The service is set to launch commercially by the end of this year in Alicante town and will then be expanded to the rest of Valencia in a step-by-step rollout.
Users will need to download the Móbilis mobile phone app, developed by Transermobile, and link their credit card to it. They will then purchase tickets before travelling, and the tickets will be stored on their NFC SIM card.
Once on board a bus, train or tram, the user simply taps a contactless reader integrated in the vehicle to validate their ticket.
Alberto Antón, NFC manager at Orange, told NFC World: "We have been doing a lot of work with the production side; we have been doing tests with the TSM, applications etc and we have now reached a commercial model.
"It has not been easy; it has been very difficult. From 2008 to 2012, we started to run pilots in Malaga to do with NFC. We have done different pilots; first was a prototype and the last one was based on a handset and application service for Malaga town. This was very fruitful on the one hand, and we had a great response from the end user.
"But Malaga is just a town, Valencia is a region so we can assume a bigger volume of users and we have a very great expectation. This is the first step of what could be a good starting point to roll out NFC throughout Spain.
"The project is a landmark not only for Spain but for Europe to prove the potential for NFC in one of the most advanced areas of development in Spain and Europe. Orange will launch the service in a great number of NFC devices".
Gregorio Haro Javaloyes, manager of the NFC project at the Valencia Government Infrastructure and Transport department, told NFC World: "The first communication company that is able to offer the commercial solution to the mobile phone customers will be Orange, whose TSM is going to be the first connected to ours.
"In the future, we are thinking about a link between an NFC Móbilis and a personalized Móbilis card, with customer's photo and personal data to improve customer services and personal use tickets such as young pass, elderly pass, large families. We are going to implement this process to several devices that we are selling like mobile phones, Móbilis clocks, and Móbilis key holders."