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Nexus launch ITSO on Mobile on the Metro

Tyne and Wear’s passenger transport authority, Nexus is announcing the launch of ITSO on Mobile® across its Metro light railway network.

Developed by Yotra, ITSO on Mobile® brings ITSO, the UK’s trusted national smartcard to passengers’ smartphones, using the Google Pay digital wallet platform. Once purchased, a secure ticket is delivered over the air by Yotra’s ticket fulfilment service which is seamlessly integrated with both the operator’s back office and with Google Pay. 

The ticket on the handset emulates the ITSO-compatible Nexus smartcard, Pop, and is instantly recognised by the Metro’s ticket gates when the smartphone is tapped on the reader. 

Alistair Smith, Chair of Yotra Ltd says: “We are proud to be working with Nexus to provide Metro passengers in Tyne and Wear with a simple and convenient way to pay for their journeys and travel without the need for a paper ticket or plastic smartcard. 

“Across all industries, mobile payments are on the rise, with one in six UK adults registered for mobile payment services, such as Google Pay. We recognise public transport needs to embrace the digital world and have developed ITSO on Mobile® to offer passengers a seamless and, importantly in today’s world, a touchless journey”.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “The Pop card app will revolutionise how people can pay for their travel and then access the Metro network by simply touching their phone on to a gate or validator.

“Customers can buy and store electronic tickets on Android smartphones, and then travel without needing to carry a separate ticket or smartcard.

“It’s convenient, easy to use, speeds up journey times, and, in this Covid-19 era, it will further minimise the need for customers to use cash and come into contact high with touch surfaces on our ticket machines.

Jonathan Hill, Head of Transit Partnerships Google Pay "We are excited to work with Nexus and Yotra Ltd to help speed up travel for Nexus customers. Google Pay aims to create an effortless, immersive mobile transit experience for users, removing the friction of getting a ticket and saving valuable time for busy passengers.

“Easing the end-to-end travel experience has been a key focus for Google, and we’re excited that people on the Nexus app can now use Google Pay to instantly buy, store and use Pop Metro tickets.”

ITSO on Mobile® integrates with the Pop app which has been developed in conjunction with mobile app developer Nebula Labs. Earlier adopters of the mobile ticketing solution described the overall passenger experience as ‘flawless’, as compared to traditional paper ticketing.  Dylan McKee, Nebula Labs spokesperson said “Working closely with all partners, we've developed a smart ticketing app that will be user friendly, efficient and make travel on the Metro even easier."  

The Tyne and Wear Metro is considered one of the UK's busiest light rail systems outside of London, with around 37 million passengers a year travelling across the 60 station network. Scheidt & Bachmann, supplier of retailing infrastructure including ticket gates and validators says “Scheidt & Bachmann is delighted to have supported this project, helping Nexus to deliver a ground-breaking solution for its customers.  It offers an improved user experience and its launch could not come at a better time.

Ken Cameron, S&B UK Managing Director concludes “This project complements the retailing infrastructure we provide to Nexus and the Tyne & Wear Metro and appeals to the technology adopters that are becoming increasingly important, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.  

We are excited to follow its progress.”