Transport of London (TfL) has today announced that the capital's public transport network will accept contactless payments from September 16. Buses already support the payment method, while the London Overground, Underground, DLR and Tram networks will be upgraded. This will enable the general public to utilize their contactless payment cards or even a smartphone with NFC to access the transport network in London.
Working in a similar way to the pay as you go Oyster cards, the fare will be charged touching in and then out at the end of a journey (unless you're boarding a bus when it's just a single touch-in). The same daily or Monday to Sunday caps will still be in effect. However, if you find yourself purchasing Travelcards and season passes, you'll still need to use the trust blue card currently still in operation. That, and if you utilize NFC, you'll have to keep topping up supporting wallet apps.
A cool little side note for those who are with the mobile operator EE, the company's Cash on Tap for Android – which provides consumers with the opportunity to manage funds in a digital wallet – will support the wireless systems implemented by TfL. Do you view this move as an upgrade for the TfL network? Will you be using your wireless bank cards or opting to see how EE's solution interacts with the barriers? See the EE press release below for the mobile operator's app.
EE announces new Android app will support contactless payments with TfL
Friday 25th July, 2014: EE, the UK's most advanced digital communications company, today announced its customers will be able to travel on London's Underground, DLR and Overground networks using their mobile phone when TfL's contactless program launches on 16th September.
EE is the only UK network provider to offer a contactless payment service, and the extension of Cash on Tap to TfL's transport network will mean no more queuing to top-up an Oyster card, or rummaging around a handbag first thing in the morning. Developed in partnership with MasterCard, Cash on Tap will also avoid 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. EE customers can already use their phone to pay in more than 300,000 shops across the country, including Marks & Spencer, McDonald's, Caffè Nero, Pret A Manger and Greggs.