TfL: London Loves Contactless Payments

Over 1.2 million contactless transactions now made every day on the TfL network

London’s public transport system is playing a major role in helping promote the adoption of contactless payment technology, the body in charge of it has said.

Transport for London (TfL) said the adoption of contactless payments has helped the network carry more passengers than ever before, made it quicker to process travel and reduced paper waste.

More than 1.2 million contactless transactions are made every day on the TfL network, making it possibly the biggest market for the technology in the world, Shasi Verma, director of customer experience at TfL, told media at the MasterCard Future of Payments event in London today.

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Tube TfL contactless Barclaycard (3)“If you offer an experience that makes people lives easier, they will adopt it,” Verma noted, adding that adopting contactless had been, “a huge success”.

The body first looked into using the technology in 2006, seeking to predict the next consumer demand following the launch of Oyster cards in 2003.

TfL saw both contactless and Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled mobile devices as the upcoming payment trends, but Verma admitted that the latter had been “a lot harder to do” than contactless cards.

However its work into contactless payments has been so successful that the body was now in talks with other cities and organisations across the world in order to share its expertise.

Verma also revealed the sheer scale of contactless payments across the TfL network, and how this was benefitting visitors to the capital from all around the world.

Since its launch in September 2014, four million different contactless cards have been used to pay for TfL journeys (an average of 18,000 per day) from 61 countries, including American customers taking advantage of Apple Pay in the UK for the first time.

Verma revealed users with enabled devices are able to use Apple Pay to travel on the TfL network, as the system uses contactless technology, and predicts that its widely-expected UK launch will help boost user numbers even more.

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