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Transport for London: Buses accept bank card payments from today

Written on:December 13, 2023
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London bus commuters can now buy tickets by swiping a credit, debit or charge card

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that starting today London buses will accept contactless payments by swiping a credit, debit or charge card by a card-reader system, so commuters can stop worrying about carrying cash with the introduction of the new system.

TfL said that Oyster card readers on its 8,500 buses now enable passengers to pay for single fares using Near-Field Communication (NFC)-enabled contactless debit, credit or charge cards. With the new system, commuters can pay for bus journeys using an American Express, MasterCard or Visa Europe contactless payment card instead of cash or a pre-paid Oyster travel card.

Passengers will not be charged any additional amount for using the contactless payment method. They will be charged the same amount as if they were using an Oyster card, TfL confirmed.

TfL announced that the contactless payment system will be extended to London Underground, DLR, London overground and trams with daily and weekly price capping by the end of 2013.

Mike Cowen, head of transit solutions Europe at MasterCard, explains that while the system is in its nascent stage, the company will help roll it out to the full Oyster model over the course of 2013.

“The model on the buses is very simple, you tap the card and it takes a payment for £1.35 and every time you tap your card it will complete a £1.35 transaction. What will happen next year when it gets extended to the full Oyster model will be daily capping – and even weekly capping which is not in the Oyster model at the moment.”, Cowen said.

Customers can make a maximum payment of £20 at a time, five times a day, without having to authenticate. According to Cowen, contactless payments on buses are subjected to the same transactional security as Chip and PIN payments and the new functionality may assist those that have lost or damaged their Oyster cards, in that they will enjoy the same low fee. Ultimately, this new system may even reduce the need for passengers to carry the Oyster card.

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