Launch of Apple Pay leads to massive spike in mobile payment journeys, TfL reveals
Smartphones are becoming an increasingly popular way to pay for travel around London, according to new figures from Transport for London (TfL).
According to the TfL Commissioner’s Report for February, the average number of journeys made using mobile devices has increased from 7,500 a day to more than 35,000, with more than 200,000 unique devices used to make trips over the past six months – an increase of 1,000 devices per day.
This is a rise of over 360 percent since Apple Pay’s launch in the UK last July, which the report suggests was a major driver behind the growth.
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Overall, the figures, which also includes mobile wallets run by Vodafone and EE, represent 3.5 percent of all contactless journeys and around one percent of the total pay-as-you-go journeys made on the capital’s tubes, trains and buses.
The report also notes that each time a new bank announced support for Apple Pay, a new spike in use was detected.
TfL’s use of contactless payments, long seen as one of the key examples to back the widespread implementation of the technology, was also mentioned, as the report said that it was, “already among the largest contactless merchants in the world”, and that it was “now widely acknowledged that our lead in creating this product has changed the nature of payments more widely in the retail environment.”
The report noted that, “a number of other cities” are now actively considering switching their fare collection to contactless technology having seen the success of London’s network, and that TfL is in active discussions with many cities around the world to assist them in this and potentially to license its contactless technology.
Recent figures from Visa Europe found that contactless now represents 25 percent of all pay-as-you-go payment transactions made on the TfL network, helping to support calls for a nationwide expansion of contactless payment services across the UK’s travel network, following an announcement by the UK Cards Association earlier this week that it had now gained government backing for such a project.
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