O2 joins the Touch&Travel project of the Deutsche Bahn

MUNICH. Buying tickets will get easier than ever: A project initiated by the Deutsche Bahn (DB) together with telecommunications and transportation companies makes the wish of many passengers come true. "Touch & Travel" enables passengers to simply register via their mobile phone at the stop, get on the train or bus and check out after arrival. The fare is automatically calculated and subsequently debited from the account. Telefónica O2 Germany will now also join the pilot.
"The fact that O2 joins the project enables us to provide the benefits of mobile ticketing to an even broader customer base and we are well positioned for the successful launch across Germany", says Birgit Wirth, Project Manager Touch&Travel of Deutsche Bahn. "An ever increasing number of applications we use daily will become available on the mobile phone", adds Antonio Botas, Managing Director Strategy, Brand Management & Customer Experience, Telefónica O2 Germany. "Mobile payment is one of the applications which are securely and practically run on the mobile phone. We have already gained first experiences with our mobile payment service mpass. Touch&Travel is another of these mobile services which will make everyday life easier for our customers." The Touch & Travel project is based on the Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. It enables the contact-free exchange of data between two devices via a short distance. Correspondingly, the transportation companies involved have equipped all stations and stops with so-called touch points. Buying tickets will then become easier than ever: Users simply hold the switched-on mobile phone to these points of contact when they start their journey and check out at the destination the same way. Subsequently, the fare is automatically calculated. Touch&Travel ensures that the smooth transition to other means of transport - for example from the ICE to the bus or vice versa - is made possible. That way, travellers will not need to buy another ticket. The invoice will be issued on a rotational basis by DB, for example, at the end of the month. The Deutsche Bahn has tested the technology for some time, O2 now joins the project as a partner. Together with the other project partners Vodafone Deutschland, T-Mobile Deutschland, the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and the Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam (ViP) as well as powerful partners from the industry, O2 and the Deutsche Bahn intend to bring Touch&Travel to market. In the next step, DB is looking for another 3,000 customers in the next couple of weeks who will test this simple eTicket procedure. The Telefónica Group has also invested in the NFC technology worldwide and across countries and has driven relevant projects. In Great Britain, Spain and the Czech Republic pilot projects are planned or are being implemented. In a large-scale test in London, customers were able to use O2 Wallet for half a year. The technology implements the functionality of credit cards and similar cards into NFC, thus enabling cashless and cardless payment. In addition, O2 evaluates additional NFC applications and projects in Germany.
Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG belongs to Telefónica Europe and is part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The Company offers its German private and business customers postpaid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS and UMTS technologies. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. Telefónica Europe has about 48 million mobile and fixed network customers in Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.