Transport for London to Introduce Contactless Payments Beginning 16th September

Since 1829, commuters in London have been paying cash for public transportation. Thanks to Oyster card, this year (and for many years) less than 1% of commuters have been paying cash to travel by bus in London. So what's the buzz about?

On 25th July 2014, Transport for London (TfL) announced that on 16th September it will introduce contactless payments for all pay-as-you-go users on the Tube, DLR, London Overground and trams in addition to the city’s buses.

Offering the option of contactless payments will make it easier and more convenient for users to pay for their travel, freeing them of the need to top up Oyster credit and helping them get on board without delay, stated Tfl’s director of customer experience, Shashi Verma, in a press release. The pilot has been a success, with participants giving us really useful feedback. This is the latest step in making life easier for our users by using modern technology to offer the best service possible.

  • TFL says the new option means there will no longer be any need to spend time topping up Oyster balances, since fares are charged directly to payment-card accounts.
  • Contactless payments – debit, credit or prepaid cards and devices – work in the same way as Oyster.
  • It charges the pay-as-you-go fare when users touch in and out on the readers at the start and end of every journey.
  • In addition to daily capping, a new Monday-to-Sunday cap will also apply for users using the contactless payment option, with TfL saying that its advanced system will automatically calculate the best-value contactless fare over the course of the week.
  • Only one charge per day will be sent to the bank or financial provider for payment, clearly referencing it as a payment to TfL for travel.
  • The payment history can be viewed easily by registered users via their TfL online account.
  • The account ensures ease and transparency and also gives users the ability to obtain refunds on incomplete journeys.

TfL has worked with some of the biggies in the payment-card industry, including American Express, the UK Cards Association, MasterCard, Barclaycard and Visa Europe, to develop contactless payment-card acceptance on the transportation network.

On July 6, TfL made the city’s bus network totally cash-free, with riders now able pay for the bus only with an Oyster card, a contactless payment card or a prepaid or concessionary ticket.