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Transport for London backs contactless payments push

Transport for London backs contactless payments push
Tuesday September 16 2014

London’s public transit network becomes the world’s first accept Visa contactless payments on multiple forms of transport

Transport for London (TfL) has today announced customers can now use their contactless Visa cards to pay for journeys on all Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services that accept Oyster cards.

These additional services join London Buses, which have accepted Visa contactless journeys since December 2012, and are the main reason that payments company Visa Europe is using today’s announcement to predict that Brits will make 500 million contactless payments between now and December 2015.

Boost to contactless payment adoption

The move, which has been planned for some months, means that from today TfL can accept the 40 million Visa contactless cards already active in the UK. Sandra Alzetta, executive director at Visa Europe, also said it was also in the company’s plans to enable any customer with a Visa-enabled mobile device to use it to travel on the TfL network.

“We’ve seen an incredible response to the launch of contactless payments on London Buses with nearly 19 million Visa contactless journeys made since it launched in 2012," said Alzetta. "Today’s launch by TfL will be another major boost to contactless usage leading to the three-fold increase we expect in the next year.”

Credit card issuer Barclaycard today also launched a contactless payment wristband [pictured] to help speed up London commuters’ travel and avoid ‘card clash’ by taking away the possibility of multiple contactless cards being read.

By removing the need to get out their wallet, cardholder or purse, customers can link any UK Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card to Barclaycard’s so-called bPay band in order to authorise contactless payments at over 300,000 contactless terminals and right across the London transport network by just waving their wrist over the contactless reader terminal.

The bPay product is free and incurs no usage fees for consumers. The band is linked to a pre-paid account to which funds are either added online or automatically when the balance runs low. Just like other contactless payment mechanisms, the maximum transaction value is limited to £20.

Tami Hargreaves, Barclaycard head of contactless, said: “The bPay band from Barclaycard is about making paying for everyday essentials simpler than ever and, although we don’t officially launch until next year, to celebrate contactless payments launching on the London transport network today, we’re giving 10,000 lucky Londoners the chance to get their hands on one early.”

Visa Europe also pointed to growing usage, demand and interest in digital payments across the region. In Poland, contactless Visa payments have been available on Warsaw and Wroclaw public transport since 2012 and there are numerous projects currently underway in other cities across Europe.

Tagged as: TfL | London | transport | payments | contactless | card | mobile | wristband | Oyster | Visa | MasterCard | Visa Europe | Barclaycard