London buses will stop accepting cash from this summer as the proportion of journeys paid in other ways such as through Oyster cards reaches 99%.
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Transport for London’s Oyster card system, launched in July 2003, uses radio frequency identification tags (RFID) to enable a contactless ticketing system. It has contributed to a rapid reduction in the use of cash for bus journeys. About 1% of bus journeys are now paid for in cash compared to 20% 10 years ago.
TfL said the decision to move to Oyster and contactless debit or credit card payments will save the network £24m a year. In December, contactless payment functionality was installed on 8,500 buses.
Leon Daniels, managing director for TfL surface transport, said: "The decision to stop accepting cash fares on London buses reflects the changing way that people pay for goods and services in our city, including journeys on the bus network."
A survey in December, from Visa Europe, revealed that 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.
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The study revealed that 88% of London transport customers use Oyster cards, but 77% said they wanted more options other than the Oyster and cash.