Transport for London has shortlisted seven bids for systems to allow Oystercards to function as electronic money.
Seven bids have made the shortlist to give TfL's smartcard system an e-money capability.
TfL wants to develop Oystercards, which are currently only used to pay for tube, bus and some rail journeys in the capital, to pay for simple transactions, such as parking tickets, fast-food meals and newspapers. More than 2.2 million people already have Oystercards.
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TfL's managing director of finance and planning, Jay Walder, said, “Oyster has the largest customer base of all smartcards in the UK.”
The shortlisted bids include Barclays, EDS, PayPal and RBS. TfL will begin trials with the winning bidder in late 2005 or early 2006.