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Ever experienced that feeling of panic when you realise you haven't got enough money in your pocket to pay your train or bus fare? Thanks to mobile technology, that could soon be a thing of the past.

According to The Telegraph, ministers are pushing ahead with plans that would allow commuters to buy a ticket using their mobile phones that could then be displayed to conductors on their screen - as long as their phone can access their bank account.

Depending on the train company, travellers can also print their tickets at home or use NFC-enabled smartphones to scan their ticket on a 'contactless' reader, like they would with an Oyster Card.

A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies said: "We are working with the Department for Transport on a £45 million scheme to roll out smart ticketing across the south east. Several train companies are using smart ticketing including smart cards, print-at-home tickets, barcodes and smartphone technology.

"Train companies are always looking to improve services and the industry is actively looking at how flexible ticketing can be used to benefit passengers."

Smart ticketing technology is not yet in place in most parts of the country, but it's likely that more train companies will get involved as the banking industry moves towards mobile technology. Eventually all train companies will have to comply with the ITSO (Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation) industry standard for payments.

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