Research from Pay by Bank app, has found 39% of London Underground passengers are shopping daily on the Tube (see infographic) – commuter commerce.
This equates to 1.5 million Londoners using their smartphone to purchase underground, with the Central, Northern and Victoria Lines the most popular shopping routes – according to an article in Essential Retail.
Popular purchases include clothes (61%), takeaways (57%), tickets for activities such as the theatre (55%) and food shopping (53%). The research also claims 61% of passengers are downloading on average £30 of digital content on the tube, while 37% of Underground passengers are researching and taking out insurance policies during the mundane commute to work, which is around 47 minutes.
Last year, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicted British commuters would spend £9.3 billion on commuter commerce in 2015 alone.
Liam Spence, head of product for Pay by Bank app, says: “Some commuters are on the Tube for two hours so it makes sense to use this ‘dead time’ to shop.
But getting out your credit or debit card and then keying in a long sequence of numbers on a packed Tube is not the ideal checkout experience – especially if you’re using station Wi-Fi to quickly checkout between stops or while waiting for a train. If retailers are to capitalise on this they need to introduce quicker and safer mobile payment methods.”
Pay by Bank said over half of commuters would shop more if they knew their banking details were safe, if check-out processes were quicker and if the Wi-Fi service was better.
Free Wi-Fi was introduced to Transport for London (TfL) in 2012 to meet the increased footfall generated at the Olympic Games. It is currently available at 250 of the 270 stations across TfL, provided through a partnership with Virgin Media and various mobile carriers, including EE, O2 and Vodafone. Meanwhile, TfL also introduced contactless payments in September 2014 for customers carrying debit or credit cards with an NFC chip. Since the UK launch of Apple Pay last year, customers are now tapping in and out of stations using their mobile devices.