back to article EE rolls out London bus pay-by-bonk app – only fandoids need apply

Riding a London bus is about as pleasurable as trying to saddle a twitchy rhino that has decided to charge at the slightest perceived threat. But the business of bus-based travelling through an ancient city designed with horse and cart in mind might be set to get a teeny bit easier - at least for EE customers with NFC-enabled …

  1. Richard 81


    Fans of Andoid?

    1. Roger Stenning

      Re: fandoids?

      {robotic voder-altered voice} yes {/robotic voder-altered voice}

      *add obligatory insane giggle here*

    2. Duffy Moon

      Re: fandoids?

      Of course not. Fandroids are human-shaped robots, who are fanatical about things in general.

  2. Steven Raith

    Getting your phone out....

    ...your high spec, NFC enabled phone, I might add, anywhere near the door of a London bus?

    Are you fucking mental?

    Steven R

  3. smartypants

    Aren't fandroids

    Robots that can fart?

  4. ukgnome

    What the fuck is a london bus?

    1. Nifty Silver badge

      Something you can use a data connection in - unlike the tube or when you are driving a car

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The 'London Bus' species

      of vehicle is sometimes seen trundling around the streets of London in packs of at least three vehicles. You can easily identify them buy the Red colour and the totally misleading destination panel on the front.

      When is Says for example 25, Ilford, you are actually seeing a No 7 bound for Acton.

      The other characteristic is that the stop every 100ft or so for no apparent reason, certainly not to pick up or drop off human bipeds. Only people with large push-chairs or prams are allowed on the things.

      They are also a magnet for the 'Bus Stop Gangs'***. These <redacted> will make it difficult anyone not accompanied by at least 6 children to board the bus without paying them a large tithe. They will accept your mobile phone in Lieu of the tithe, especially EE Android ones because their 'pay-by-bonk' apps will let the gangs get home after a day collecting tithes.

      *** a.k. ticket inspectors.

      This is brought to you by the TFL department for monday merryment, or Joke Factory.

    3. Jealy

      A bus in London.

      1. ukgnome

        Oh, I see

        next question - why the fuck would I want to be in London?

        And does Uber halio do an app for the buses? with all these leaps of technology I am totally confused.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >why the fuck would I want to be in London?


    4. tony2heads

      to quote Flanders and Swann

      The big six-wheeler, Scarlet-painted, London Transport, Diesel-engined, Ninety-seven horse-power, Omnibus

      1. Jeff Green

        Re: to quote Flanders and Swann

        Hold very tight please ...

        Ting Ting!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: to quote Flanders and Swann

          ..your'e a GNU, and he is gnother GNU

  5. Arachnoid


    Nay never they go anywhere and everywhere on the way to the place where you actually want to go and take an age doing it and they're full of mostly noisy, self centered and rude people [including some of the drivers].

    BTW Most credit/debit cards already have NFC forced upon the user anyway, should you insist on using another insecure form of payment.

  6. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Erm, OK..

    OK, so instead of digging round my pocket for my oyster card which, should it get stolen, can be cancelled within a couple of minutes and replaced within a few days with no real hardship to myself (beyond having to pay for my journey home), I get to dig around in my pocket, bring out my £700 phone and hope that either it does not get nicked, or that my insurance covers the theft (on my daily commute, I have to travel through an area that is a bit of a bad area for muggings, so any insurance may not cover me). In the mean time, while all this is being sorted out (which might take weeks) I am without a phone, which I do, increasingly, have to rely on.

    Even assuming that my insurance covers me, it's likely I'll end up paying with increased premiums.

    Please, bearing that in mind, someone tell me exactly WHY having this ability on your phone is an advantage?

    1. vahid

      Re: Erm, OK..

      I presume this is all due to cash no longer being accepted -

      Riddled I tell you - the entire London Transport System

      Coming soon near you a Degree in how to use London Transport, two tier course:

      1. How to work out the ins and outs of travelling without being fined

      2. How to be a success in the krypton factor aka your journey in / journey home.

      Good luck to these loosers

  7. Nigel Whitfield.

    Too posh for the bus?

    I don't recognise that description of bus travel at all; living in Hackney it's one of the main means for getting around, thanks to our lack of tube connections, and I find it perfectly reasonable most of the time, though I'm not a big fan of Boris' Bonkers Vanity Bus.

    I'd far rather a bus than the simmering sexual tension of the Central Line.

    1. Arachnoid

      Re: Too posh for the bus?

      On the contrary I dislike traveling with people coughing and wheezing over me and trying to get into my personal space all the time.That and the fact who ever invented Bus suspension must have had a previous job as a fayre ground ride designer.

      1. EssEll

        Re: Too posh for the bus?

        Until the last few words I wasn't clear what method of transport you were on about as I've been coughed and wheezed on in tubes, DLR, buses, overground and while walking down the road. You're only safe in your car, but then you have damn pedestrians and cyclists* to deal with.

        *Tongue in cheek. **


  8. cs94njw

    Right - so the S3 LTE is supported, but the S3 with has NFC support is not?....

    FFS - Can't believe I bought the S3 because of the NFC support, and no bugger supported it :(

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh sure, let's help tracking..

    I do not want to give anyone who seeks to track me actually *help* in doing so, and I'm also not very fond of contactless payment as it can be read from too far (the only reason you need to be close to a payment terminal is because it has a crap receiver stage and aerial).

    No thanks.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It is rumoured that it will use the firm's Touch ID fingerprint sensor to verify a customer's identity along with Bluetooth Low Energy for the contactless payment and could be launched in the autumn alongside Apple's iPhone 6."

    So completely incompatible with any of the existing NFC hardware on the bus or tube network... That's going to be an interesting sell...

  11. Tromos


    The only people who would find it more convenient to use this rather than an Oyster card are those that go around with phone permanently in hand. Generally, those irritating types that spend the entire journey shouting "I'm on the bus" and other inanities down it, or those that tap away at some game ensuring a constant stream of tinny beeps to fray the nerves of nearby passengers.

    Anyone who would find using a phone more convenient (and this would work for iPhone users too) could always glue an oyster card to the back of it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pointless

      The funny thing is these imbeciles will now have to take the phone away their ear and mouth and stick it on the bonk plate. But of course they won't, they'll just stand at the plate holding up the entire queue while they finish their conversation, like they do at the supermarket checkout.

  12. jaywin

    I honestly can't see one reason why I would ever want to do this.

    Does anyone outside of the mobile phone company bubble actually seen any advantage of having a direct link to your bank account by waving your phone around?

    1. Brenda McViking

      It isn't linked to your bank account. it's linked to your phone bill.

      I have wanted this for an age. My wallet is stuffed so full of RFID already that bonking a wallet no longer works. It can't tell whether it's my netherlands chipkaart, the oyster card, one of my debit cards or my work or student ID trying to communicate.

      My phone goes with me everywhere and is separate. Paying with it would be useful - The way I see it, I have no need for a wallet - it's a place I use to store identification and payment methods, both of which can be done better by a phone. Yes, it's only a matter of saving 15 seconds, but why the hell not?

      And yet, because my S4 isn't supplied by EE, it's fracking ineligable. And sod getting a monthly contract with them - that just means the liability is limitless. At least with PAYG it's limited to your account balance.

  13. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    Simple payments...

    If only there were some universal, simple payment mechanism that was easily accessible to tourists and locals alike....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple payments...

      In London, it ain't cash.....

      But London is its own little world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple payments...

        But London is its own little world.

        No, it's just more in line with the rest of Europe where cashless payments for public transport are often the norm. Probably because London still has a largely state owned public transport system rather than one owned by subsidy guzzling, profit driven, multi-millionaire owned private firms.

        1. Inselaf

          Re: Simple payments...

          You are only right to a certain degree with cashless payments!

          I live in Germany & paying wirh cash is still & will be for quite a while the main method to pay. Also not everyone has an i-phone & when are not prepared to risk paying double etc.

          I have to rely upon Public Transport & I do not own an i-phone neither do I wish to.

          So when in London I shall not be able to use the buses then while I do not have a i-phone as many others here in Europe.

          Good I must not go to London & this idiotic decision makes my decision easier. I shall stay in Brighton & surrounding districts when visiting Family & friends.

          I can only shake my head at such lack of choice. Typical of society today.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "iPhone-toting customers just don't have the power"

    Don't iPhone users prefer to drive their Citreon CVs into town anyway?

  15. Jealy

    What about Windows Phone? Been wanting some NFC payment action since I got my Lumia 920 nearly 2 years ago.

  16. HMB

    Smartphone NFC rocks, but not so much for payments.

    I've used a phone to pay by NFC and I've used a debit card to pay by NFC. Honestly, I'd much rather take out my cheap, easily cancelled, easily replaced debit card out my wallet than start tapping my smartphone against payment terminals.

    That said, I do enjoy sharing webpages, contacts and the like just by touching my phone against some of my friends phones. It's an exceptionally easy way of sharing data.

    I like smartphone NFC, but I don't like it for payments, having actually tried both my phone and my debit card in that role.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Riding a London bus is about as pleasurable as trying to saddle a twitchy rhino that has decided to charge at the slightest perceived threat."

    Do El Reg journalists get paid by the word?

  18. Mike 68

    NFC really hasn't caught on

    I've only ever seen one NFC-enabled till in the shops, this was in an O2 shop a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't plugged in

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: NFC really hasn't caught on

      My local pub has a couple of NFC capable card readers. Makes it much easier to get drunk without having to remember your PIN

    2. Breen Whitman

      Re: NFC really hasn't caught on

      UK has always lagged behind in banking tech. NFC is everywhere in New Zealand now.

      Even when eft-pos was *the* main way of paying, and machines were on every corner I went to the UK years ago and there were a few machines but mainly it was easier just to call into a bank.

      In fact I went into banks just to sight see. The old style decor, and staff that were brusk and surely. It was hilarious.

      In fact my visa card had my photo on it, which completely freaked them out so they held it. The involvement of police and a few calls to banks back home convinced them that this witchcraft was legitimate.

      It really was like a scene from a documentary where those tribes are discovered who have never seen western technology like a mirror.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NFC really hasn't caught on

        UK has always lagged behind in banking tech.

        Nope. For example , the first ATM's - designed, built and installed in the UK. If you want archaic banking, then try the US.

  19. Dave, Portsmouth

    Nice, if it wasn't run by the phone company!

    I like the idea of contactless payments. Better than faffing with cash and change, better than waiting for slow chip and pin machines, and much better than having to top up an Oyster card or similar.

    But why on Earth would I want my phone company involved in payments? I have both credit and debit cards with contactless technology in them, which take money straight from my account. Why add the middle man of EE or anyone else wanting their slice of every payment? If the Barclays app or anyone else support NFC then great, I'll use it!

  20. Arachnoid

    Didnt I read

    That Oyster charge the companys a tad more than credit/debit cards per transaction hence maybe why they are trying to move away from the option.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: Didnt I read

      Oyster is, essentially, a system that was bought in (albeit customised), while the new system was developed in house, and TFL are, I believe, hoping that they'll be able to make money by licensing it to other transport operators.

      More info (and discussion) here:

  21. Breen Whitman

    IPhones aren't required to work on buses a survey found.

    iPhone users said taking the bus was too main stream.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. AndyJenk

    "contactless mobile payments"

    Hasn't Technology gone too far? In my day it took 2 to bonk. Contactless sex sounds bonkers to me.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      "Contactless sex sounds bonkers to me."

      Worked well enough for Barbarella...

      1. Anonymous Coward


        .then there was Duran Durans little machine...

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