London’s transportation agency (Transport for London – TfL) announced from Sept. 16, the city’s transport services will be able to accept all forms of contactless payments, including contactless debit and credit cards, contactless mobile payments (NFC), payment tags and contactless enabled wearable devices to pay for the subway, the Overground, the Dockland Light Rail, London buses and certain National Rail services.
With wide reaching acceptance for contactless enabled payment instruments, customers will no longer have to rely on Oyster cards and fares will automatically calculated to ensure that customers are always charged the lowest amount across the days and weeks they travel using the network. Furthermore, customers will be able to track their spending online through their TfL accounts and only one payment per day will be sent to their bank or financial provider. To ensure maximum consumer satisfaction, consumers will be able to use their accounts on mobile and desktop with TfL’s responsive browser-based sites to complete journeys where they may have forgotten to touch out, or obtain refunds on incomplete journeys.
The TfL is able to open the system to contactless payments because the technology powering the Oyster card uses a common underlying protocol and the same top-level standard as NFC. The new system could provide additional revenue for London as well given the fact that the TfL has ownership rights to the system and could license it to other metropolitan areas that want to take advantage of the model. According to the TfL, several cities around the world are already showing interest.
With contactless payments sharply on the rise in the UK, by opening up the London transportation system, TfL is providing consumers a more convenient way of traveling around England’s capital as well as providing a blue print for other cities to emulate moving forward.
To read the full story, go to Wired.