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Oyster and Barclaycard to launch e-money scheme

Miya Knights

The Oyster card is to combine with Barclaycard to offer a ‘wave and pay’ scheme in the capital within a year, it was announced today.

The credit card company has signed an exclusive three-year agreement with TranSys, the consortium that runs the Transport for London (TfL) smartcard travel pass, to embed the radio frequency Oyster functionality in its Barclaycard and Barclays Connect Visa cards.

The card will be able to handle contactless payment for low-value transactions at retail outlets, as well as acting as a standard chip and Pin credit card, while performing the function of an Oyster card, giving access to the TfL payment and entry facilities to the London transport network.

Barclaycard said it will conduct live trials in conjunction with TfL and TranSys in 2007, with the system being rolled out to customers later in the year.

It said the contactless payment capability would be aimed at retail environments such as fast food outlets, coffee shops, newsagents, off licences, bars, pubs, parking facilities and vending machines. Transactions are processed through the same secure payment network used for chip and Pin.

The deal contradicts reports earlier this year that plans to extend the Oyster card to other payment platforms had been shelved due to difficulties in getting a secure payments system off the ground that had the support of third-party retailers. No one was available to comment from TfL at the time of writing.

When he launched the invitation of proposals from financial service organisations late in 2005, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said the e-money facility would allow the 3,850 shops contracted to sell TfL tickets to deduct the value of non-ticket related purchases from the card in place of other payment methods. He also said it would build on pilot schemes underway last March in the London boroughs of Greenwich, Newham, Croydon and Lewisham, using library and leisure cards for Oyster card travel.

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