A £14m swipe-card system, similar to London's Oyster Cards, is being introduced for public transport in the West Midlands.
Electronic card readers have been fitted on 2,500 buses in the region and will be installed in the Metro too.
The Smartcard prepayment scheme has been funded by Centro regional transport authority and is being rolled out for concessionary bus users first.
It was presented by transport minister Norman Baker at Birmingham NEC earlier.
Geoff Inskip, Centro chief executive, said: "This is a fantastic innovation and a way of getting more people on buses and making public transport easier in the West Midlands."