The UK has announced plans to introduce a contactless ticketing system that will use mobile phones and bank cards for fare payments on public transport.

The system would use mobile phones as ‘swipe and go’ smart cards by directly loading electronic tickets or pre-pay credit and use ordinary bank cards to pay fares simply by being passed over a terminal.

The move, according to the transport department, would completely end the usage of traditional paper tickets in the country.

UK Transport Minister Sadiq Khan said that in some cases, direct payments may even do away with the need for a ticket at all.

”We could see the end to waiting in line at ticket machines, while buses could spend half the amount of time sitting at the bus stop waiting for people to board and looking for the right change,” Khan said.

The new system would also allow passengers to load tickets or credit in advance of travel and reduce ticket frauds as smart tickets are difficult to replicate.

The system would also benefit operators who would be able to run their own loyalty schemes and offer ticket types to suit individual customers’ needs.

The government estimates that the system could save nearly £2bn a year through improved travel times and quicker, more reliable and convenient purchasing and use of tickets.

The government hopes the new system proves to be a success like ‘Oyster’ smart cards that are now used for 78% of bus and tube journeys in London.

The system would be government-backed ITSO smartcard specified, which will enable the smart cards to be used across the country.