Metro operator Nexus, which runs underground services in the North East of England, is trialling an SMS-based mobile payments and ticketing system.
According to a report by the BBC, Nexus staff are taking part in a pilot of the system, which enables travellers to purchase a 24-hour travel ticket using their hand sets, with the cost debited to mobile phone bills. Tickets are then issued by text message.
Andy Bairstow, commercial director at Nexus, told the BBC that the text ticketing system is already operational and is being trialled by 100 customers.
Bairstow says if the technology works, travellers could be able to buy tickets using mobile phones in the very near future.
The EU is funding the UK trial as well as other pilot schemes in Bologna and Bucharest. A similar scheme currently operates in Helsinki.
Last week Transport for London unveiled plans to enable customers to use Oyster travel cards to pay for small purchases. A pilot programme is underway across four London boroughs where Oyster cards are being used for library and leisure services.