Transport for London reports contactless payments surge

Over 40 million fares on London public transport have been paid with contactless cards since it became available in September 2014

Over 40 million fares on London public transport have been paid with contactless cards since it became available in September 2014, according to Transport for London (TfL).

The contactless payment system means travellers no longer need to spend time topping up Oyster cards, as they can pay using near-field communications (NFC) technology in the same way they can pay for goods in retail stores. Payments using contactless cards were already in use on buses but TfL introduced them across the transport hub on September 16.

Over 40 million TfL journeys have been paid for using contactless since. "It is fantastic to see the popularity of contactless continuing to grow across the UK. We have seen over 41 million journeys made across London using contactless in just five months. Using contactless payments to travel can save our customers time, they don't need to stop to top up an Oyster card, or buy a ticket and can benefit from daily and Monday to Sunday capping,” said Shashi Verma, director of customer experience at TfL.

TfL has had to warn people not to accidentally scan bank cards when they scan their oyster cards to avoid paying twice. This is known as “card clash”.

Surge in contactless payments

In total about £2.3bn was spent in the UK using contactless cards, compared to £653m in 2013, according to figures from The UK Cards Association.

UK people used contactless card to make payments 319.2 million times in 2014 compared to 100.4 million the year before.

"Contactless has now firmly stepped into the mainstream with usage soaring every month last year, we’ve seen people flocking to contactless payments as they switch away from cash. For retailers, contactless means quicker queues at the tills and greater convenience for their customers,” said Richard Koch, head of Policy at The UK Cards Association.

Fraudulent use of contactless cards totaled £51,000 in the first six months of 2014 according to the figures. This was just 0.007% of contactless card spending.

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