Transport for London (TfL) has shelved plans to allow users of its Oyster travel smart card to buy goods and services at other outlets.
Before setting up the widely used Oyster travel scheme, TfL said it was planning to allow users to buy small-value items with their Oyster card, including parking tickets, fast food and groceries from supermarkets.
Last year, London’s main transport organisation also advertised in the OJEU European outsourcing contracts journal for a partner to help get the extended scheme off the ground.
After drawing up a short-list of partners as a result of this advert, it has now informed those companies it has put the plan on ice, with no timetable set for a future deployment.
Whenever there has been a major smart card scheme launched in the UK, talk of using the card for other outlets other than what it was designed for has usually surfaced.
However, getting a secure payments systems off the ground which has the support of third-party retailers is difficult to do.
The advent of the chip-and-pin payment scheme at retailers has complicated matters, with some retailers perhaps not enthusiastic about having to modify their point-of-sale units further to take Oyster.