London Buses may go Cashless in 2013

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The British Broadcasting Corporation obtained documents that reveal Transport for London is considering abolishing cash fares on all London buses at later this year.

In the aftermath of the story, the transit organization told the BBC no decision has been made yet and the agency is just doing its due diligence on consumer payment trends. The agency left the door open for a future decision stating, “there will come a point when it won’t be worth collecting cash anymore.”

The Transport for London’s decision to move towards a cashless payment experience is based on the fact just 1.5% of all fares are paid with cash. In addition, the agency announced earlier this year contactless debit cards will be an option for commuters to pay for fares on all buses by the end of the year, further cutting into cash-based fares.

Although the final decision on whether London buses will go fully cashless rests with the city’s mayor, even the consideration of removing cash as a primary payment option highlights the growing influence of non-cash based instruments. Whether London moves to a cashless bus system this year or in the next few, it reflects the global shift in popularity towards electronic payments and will serve as a model for other large metropolitan areas that aim to make commuter payments more efficient.

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