London transport users call for contactless payments


London transport users call for contactless payments

Karl Flinders

Over three-quarters of Transport for London customers want alternative ways to pay for their journeys, with contactless payments the preferred alternative to Oyster and cash for 45% of respondents, according to research.

The survey of 2,050 people from Visa Europe coincides with the launch of contactless payment functionality on 8,500 buses. Over 85,000 bus journeys each day are still paid for using cash, which is currently £2.30 and higher than the £1.35 Oyster fare.

The study revealed that 88% of London transport customers user Oyster cards, but 77% said they wanted more options other than the Oyster and cash. Oyster cards, which were launched in July 2003, use NFC (near-field communications) and radio frequency identification (RFID) style technology.

The card, which removes the need for cash when buying tickets, was the first of its kind in the UK and aimed to provide faster passage for the six million users of London's transport network.

Now bus users with American Express, MasterCard or Visa Europe contactless payment cards can pay for a journey and be charged the same as an Oyster card.

In the future, with companies such as Visa developing mobile wallets, consumers will be able to pay for travel through their smartphones.

Download a report about mobile NFC in transport.

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