London and TFL are pushing contactless like never before
Only last month Transport for London moved the bar for contactless payments on its networks by removing cash payments from busses – meaning commuters could only pay with their Oyster card or an NFC-enabled Visa card.
Now it looks as if they want to push London’s contactless payments even further by enabling NFC payments from mobiles and non-Visa cards too.
According to Mobile Payments Today, TfL announced that Starting September 16th it will allow for fares to be paid with any UK-bank-issued contactless credit, debit or prepaid card. It also means that NFC-enabled Android phones can also make use of the Cash on Tap app from EE to pay for travel too.
This new initiative will be rolled out on the Tube, London Overground, DLR, and Tram lines. It’s essentially an expansion of the already fully-contactless bus network, which is used by around 825,000 customers across 17 million journeys.
“Offering the option of contactless payments will make it easier and more convenient for customers to pay for their travel, freeing them of the need to top up Oyster credit and helping them get on board without delay,” said Shashi Verma, Transport for London’s director of customer experience, a statement. “The pilot has been a success, with participants giving us really useful feedback. This is the latest step in making life easier for our customers by using modern technology to offer the best service possible.”
It’s interesting to see that London has embraced NFC technology so readily into its transport network. While many London commuters wouldn’t think twice about using their oyster card – or even credit and debit card – to pay for transport instead of buying a standard ticket, few would feel the same when it came to making a standard purchase with NFC.
The question that needs to be asked is, why?