Transport for London (TfL) is to introduce contactless payments on 16 September 2014 on the Tube, London Overground, DLR and trams in addition to the capital's buses.
The new option, which is part of a huge range of improvements TfL is making for customers, means that there will no longer be any need to spend time topping up Oyster balances because fares are charged directly to payment card accounts.
Contactless payments - credit, debit, charge or pre-paid cards or devices - work in the same way as Oyster, charging the pay as you go fare by touching 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 customers using the contactless payment option, as TfL's 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. Registered customers will be able to easily view their journey and payment history via their TfL online account.
The account, part of TfL's work to modernise and personalise the services that it offers customers, ensures ease and transparency and also gives customers the ability to obtain refunds on incomplete journeys. Contactless payments have operated on the capital's bus network since December 2012, and have been used by around 825,000 customers for 17 million journeys.
Around 65,000 journeys a day are being made using a contactless payment card. A pilot of the system on the London Underground and rail network which began in April involving around 3,000 customers has been successful.
Customer feedback has been used to improve the service, including making the online accounts easier to use. Ahead of the launch on 16 September, TfL is continuing to remind customers that it is imperative that they only touch one card to the reader to avoid 'card clash'.
Shashi Verma, TfL's Director of Customer Experience, said: “Offering the option of contactless payments will make it easier and more convenient for customers to pay for their travel, freeing them of the need to top up Oyster credit and helping them get on board without delay. The pilot has been a success, with participants giving us really useful feedback. This is the latest step in making life easier for our customers by using modern technology to offer the best service possible.”
TfL and National Rail will continue to work together to develop the programme to expand the system to the suburban rail routes where Oyster is currently accepted.
TfL said it has worked closely with the payment card industry, including The UK Cards Association, American Express, MasterCard, Visa Europe and Barclaycard, on the development of contactless payment card acceptance on the transport network.
London is leading the way in the area of transport ticketing and TfL will soon be one of the world's largest single merchants accepting contactless payment cards.
EE to offer Cash on Tapp phone app for contactless payments on TfL network
EE, the UK’s largest mobile phone operator, will enable its customers to travel on London’s Underground, DLR and Overground networks using their mobile phone when TfL’s contactless programme launches on 16 September.
EE claims it is the only UK network provider to offer a contactless payment service. The extension of Cash on Tap to TfL’s transport network was developed in partnership with MasterCard. Cash on Tap also avoids the issue of card clash – where gates may not open if customers have more than one contactless card in their purse or wallet.
The service will use EE’s free Cash on Tap mobile contactless payment service app, which is due to be compatible with over 500,000 customers’ handsets this year. There will be no added charges for using Cash on Tap to pay for travel, and both daily and weekly caps ensure customers won’t pay a penny more than using an Oyster card.
Gerry McQuade, chief marketing officer, EE said: “Users of the world’s greatest tube network will shortly benefit from the latest in mobile payment technology, allowing them to use their phone to pay for their daily commute.
“As more and more people benefit from the simplicity, convenience and security that mobile contactless payments offer, it’s rapidly becoming clear that the days of the physical wallet are fast becoming numbered.”
Launched in partnership with MasterCard, the Cash on Tap app is available free via the Google Play store and compatible with a range of Android devices direct from EE, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z2.