The United States just took one step closer to a wallet-less society thanks to Google and the state of New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie just announced that New Jersey Transit is the first public transportation agency to partner with Google Wallet, Google’s recently released contactless payment system. With Google Wallet, a free mobile app, customers can use their Android smartphones to tap and pay for transportation tickets at select locations.
Google Wallet uses “near field communication” (NFC), which enables wireless data transmission between two objects when they are brought in close proximity with one another. The technology will be available at New York Penn Station, Newark Airport Station, and on select bus routes including 6, 43, 80, 81, 87, and 120, and on some buses on the 126 line. “We are putting the latest technology to work for our customers and improve the overall customer experience, which is one of the areas of focus of our Scorecard initiative,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein. “By partnering with Google, we are leading the industry with emerging technologies that will streamline the way customers buy their transportation tickets.”
Currently, Google Wallet is available on Sprint’s Nexus S 4G phone and supports Citi MasterCard credit cards and a Google Prepaid Card, with plans to support additional card companies and more Android devices with NFC capabilities in the future. Marlo McGriff, Google’s Business Product Manager, says “Our partnership with NJ TRANSIT is just the first step for Google Wallet and transit. In the coming months we look forward to announcing several innovative transit solutions with our partners. Stay tuned for more.”
Interestingly, it seems that Google may have footed at least some of the bill. The press release stated that it was a “public-private partnership with Google Inc.” and “was developed at no cost to NJ TRANSIT”.
If you ride NJ Transit (my apologies), but send us photos of the new contactless payment system at email@example.com!
Also read: 8 Awesome Ways to Pay with Your Phone