Contactless payments go live on London transport network

Transport for London (TfL) has today enabled a contactless payment system across its underground, overground and bus network.

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Transport for London (TfL) has today enabled a contactless payment system across its underground, overground and bus network.

Millions of customers can now use the near-field communication (NFC) technology embedded in many credit or debit cards, offering an alternative to existing Oyster payments.

The contactless system will save passengers time as they no longer have to queue to top up pre-paid cards, with funds taken directly from accounts without requiring a PIN or signature.

Customers will also have daily and weekly fares capped to the best price automatically.

“Accepting contactless payments on transport in London is a fantastic achievement for our city - it provides our customers with the most convenient way to pay for their travel and highlights the capital's position as a world leader in transport ticketing, technology and customer service,” said Shashi Verma, TfL's director of customer experience.

“Oyster will continue to be available, with contactless payments being another option that lets our customers travel without the need to top up Oyster credit.”

Contactless technology has been gathering gathering pace among consumers for some time now. Figures from Visa Europe show that 94.3 million purchases were made using its contactless cards last year, up from 25 million during 2012.

There are now 32.1 million Visa contactless cards in circulation in the UK, with the average spend totalling £6.09. Visa revealed that contactless transactions reached a total of £460 million during 2013.

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