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Entire London transport network to accept NFC by end of 2013

by Alistair Lowe on 14 December 2012, 11:15

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Frequenters of London buses may be interested to know that they can now pay for their bus fair on some routes through NFC-enabled cards, supplied from Visa, Mastercard and American Express. So no more clamouring around for the correct change (in some instances) or having to purchase and remember to top-up an Oyster card.

The convenience of being able to pay with a standard credit-card will be of particular interest to tourists, hopefully reducing the number of queues for tickets, passes and Oysters, lowering overall visitor (and we suspect local resident) frustration.

London Bus

This system might seem incomplete, covering just buses and, Transport for London agrees, setting plans to have a roll-out across the entire transport network, including the tube system, before the end of 2013. Unlike the approach taken by some mobile operators, there's no change in price or a premium here, with a standard per-ride bus fare the same £1.35 as with an Oyster card.

The tube system is following in 2013 due to the more complex nature of the payment structure, however, Mike Cowen, head of the NFC project at Mastercard states that the firm has been working with TfL since 2006 to ensure that the technology would be fully compatible with the requirements of such a system.

Hopes are that it will eventually be possible to link monthly and yearly passes to normal credit/debit cards and have them completely replace existing approaches.

A full roll-out by the end of next year is quite the ambitious project, it's great to see someone take the initiative in pushing out an NFC service whole-heartily, in a practical and very useful manner.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Wicked, all they need to do now is enable the daily cap feature. :clapping:
Great, now just need to mobile networks to keep up and fully enable NFC through phones so I can use my 920 to pay for stuff.
The readers don't work when you have a NFC card and your oyster card near each other. I can't keep some of my debit/credit cards and the Oyster in the same wallet anymore. And it's just going to get worse when they roll it out to the tubes too. It's a real PITA.
I would like to have them enable NFC bank cards to be recognised on the transport system, saves having to have a separate card just to use public transport. Although I wonder when an Oyster card type system will become common across the entire country, if they can manage it in a large city like London it must be technically possible.

mark_m
The readers don't work when you have a NFC card and your oyster card near each other. I can't keep some of my debit/credit cards and the Oyster in the same wallet anymore. And it's just going to get worse when they roll it out to the tubes too. It's a real PITA.
Get shields and then the readers can't read the wrong card…